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Paddy Lowe moves to Mercedes – Tim Goss appointed McLaren Technical Director
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Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Feb 2013   |  4:43 pm GMT  |  252 comments

It has been confirmed today that McLaren is to lose its Technical Director Paddy Lowe to Mercedes and the company has appointed Tim Goss to replace Lowe in the role.

Lowe had been planning a move to join Toto Wolff at Williams before the Austrian was offered the chance to head Mercedes motorsport operation. The plan then evolved for Lowe to divert to Mercedes and this was openly discussed a month ago, with Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn asserting that he remained in charge at Brackley, while new recruit Lewis Hamilton insisted that Lowe would not be moving to Brackley.

Tim Goss


Today however came the confirmation that McLaren has appointed Goss as Technical Director. Goss is an experienced engineer, who worked alongside now Ferrari technical director Pat Fry as senior designer of recent McLarens until Fry’s departure to Maranello. He designed the 2008 McLaren in which Hamilton won the world championship, as well as the 2010 car, which won five races and the 2012 car which won 7 races.

“I’d like to offer my congratulations to Tim on his new position, which, after more than 20 years of exceptional service for McLaren, he richly deserves,” said McLaren team principal Matin Whitmarsh.

“His quiet and unassuming persona conceals a fierce competitiveness and a wealth of experience, coupled to an unrivalled level of expertise in the field of Formula 1 car design and engineering.”

Whitmarsh’s reference to Goss’ “20 years service” is a pointed reference to loyalty. McLaren chairman Ron Dennis recently stated that he did not want anyone in the team who did not “bleed McLaren”.

But behind the rhetoric, the loss of Lowe, so soon after the loss of Hamilton to Mercedes, is a blow to McLaren’s prestige and underlines how high the stakes are nowadays among teams’ technical staff as they all strive to keep pace with Adrian Newey and the Red Bull juggernaut. The Milton Keynes outfit has won the last three world championships for constructors and drivers and informed paddock analysis puts the 2013 Red Bull car as the one to beat after the first two tests.

Lowe will be made to play out the remaining year of his contract at McLaren before he is released and it’s likely that he will be given a role well away from any proprietary information pertaining to the new generation 2014 chassis and engines.

This will be a setback to him and his new team in terms of his knowledge of the evolotion over the next 10 months of the new technologies, but he is a very smart operator and will have already gained plenty of knowledge on the subject to this point.

The question now is where this leaves Ross Brawn. He insisted last month that he is in charge at Mercedes, that he was aware of plans to recruit Lowe and that he will decide whether to continue as Team Principal. There are clearly fault-lines with Niki Lauda as non-executive chairman, but Toto Wolff appears to be playing a conciliatory role, so far. Brawn has always been one for succession planning and Lowe may well be the natural successor. The question is, how long before he takes over the reins?

Given that he will not even set foot inside Brackley until January 1, unless a deal can be struck with McLaren for an early release, he would need at least a season to get a handle on the team before taking over from Brawn. So for stability’s sake, a 2014/15 handover would appear more likely.

Interestingly, to show how fluid things have been at Mercedes, Hamilton insisted when he met with a few of us in Brackley at the end of January, that Lowe was not joining Mercedes,

“As far as I’m aware there are no plans to bring Paddy here,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been assured by Ross that his commitment is for the long term and he is here to try to win with me, which reassures me and continues to give me a positive feeling moving forward.

“There are lots of good people here and I’ve obviously had great experiences with Paddy but he works with McLaren as far as I’m concerned.”

* FOTA has announced that the first Fans Forum of 2013 will take place on Wednesday night at Barcelona circuit. The panel will comprise:

Xevi Pujolar, Williams, Race Engineer
Giedo Van Der Garde, Caterham Driver
Graeme Lowdon, Marussia President/Sporting Director
James Allison, Lotus Technical Director
Jaime Alguersuari, Pirelli F1 test driver

You can follow it live streamed here on JA on F1, starting at 18-30 CET (17-30GMT)

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252 Comments
  1. dren says:

    What exact roll would he fall into? Brawn looks to be staying as well.

    1. Captain LeChuck says:

      Ham(ilton) and Cheese, maybe? ;)

      1. Grant says:

        Oh sounds tasty!
        Now who wouldn’t move for that?

      2. dren says:

        You know…I cannot believe I did that. Nice reply!

      3. Gunner says:

        Maybe a Lew roll? ;)

    2. I dont think Brawn will stay beyond 2014 with Mercedes. Lowe will come in and work alongside him for 2014, but at the end of the year I believe Ross will move into retirement or maybe another team. To keep some sense of continuity they had to keep Brawn after Norbert left, and with Lowe having to stay with McLaren they would have been lost without Brawn.

      But with Williams having lost Toto they need somebody to take the reins from Frank, what are the odds it could be ex-Bennetton, Ferrari, Mercedes and Brawn man, Brawn.

  2. mattj says:

    If Lowe was on his way to Williams what price on Brawn ending up there instead?

    1. Fellowes says:

      Interesting…there is certainly a gap there.

    2. Sebee says:

      No chance. Brawn hangs on for 2013, then bows out for 2014 – probably done with F1. He’s set and has been wanting to enjoy the spoils of his recent business plays I sense.

      It was always a safe move for Mercedes. They figured Lowe likely won’t be let out early. Wolff coming on – he couldn’t push Brawn out – the guy who is the reason this team exists. And if Lowe was let out, Brawn was more than willing to yield the spot the right way.

      This is a perfect 1 year transition plan. Brawn still on for 1 year, then he can fade out as Lowe takes over.

      I have to say, Mercedes has opened up the wallet in a way Honda did for this team. And the poching of staff from McLaren is making me feel like McLaren is the underdog in this contest. It also reminds me of when Honda chose BAR for factory engine and Jordan beat them. Will we see the same again?

      I have this feeling that all these “blows” by Mercedes are only feeding the motivation at McLaren to show that it’s not the few parts they took, but the sum of the parts with everything else McLaren had around those individuals. Often individuals take credit for work of those below them. And now those individuals have a chance at McLaren to deliver some innovation from unexpected sources. Rookie “Newey” to be found perhaps?

      1. +1 Braun’s developing exit strategy was described by JA some time back and seems to have a life of it’s own — perhaps even without active effort by the principal. Only history “might” provide a clearer view of the situation in a year or two. Almost better than a soap opera — assuming one is at all interested in that sorta thing — and who is really stirring the pot and what the goals were to start with will only come to light if there is “success” on the track so someone can claim to be the architect.

      2. Timmay says:

        Agree. They will switch mid way through their 2014 campaign, mainly because Merc will only be running in 5th place still.

      3. Methusalem says:

        You’re right! We are witnessing a stealth takeover of team McLaren by Mercedes.

      4. Sebee says:

        Isn’t it amazing how the tight partnership has turned?

        Now they want all the staff who know their engine so they can essentially copy the design, and Lewis, who has never touched any other F1 engine beside Mercedes.

        Now that Schumi is gone I don’t feel obligated to cheer for Mercedes. McLaren group is huge, and not an underdog. But in this exchange they certainly feel like the party who’s been targetted and taken blows. Hence, I declare them “underdogs” and hope they get theirs back.

        OH NO WAYNE! I just cheered on corporate speak, tuck your pants in, we speak from pre-programmed PR releases, glass and slate cold McLaren machine! I knew quitting coffee would cause brain damage.

    3. Anne says:

      I´m not so sure. Williams has a very tight budget. So Brawn must reduce his salary in order to work for them. We don´t know if is willing to do that.

    4. Gudien says:

      Paddy Lowe goes from McLaren (fast cars) to Williams (rebuilding still) to Mercedes (?) all within the space of weeks. Interesting.

      McLaren has always had difficulty in keeping their top people. That rusty, metallic sound you hear is Ron Dennis prying open the McLaren checkbook. Good luck Ron.

  3. Captain LeChuck says:

    “Gardening leave” … unless they keep him under lock and key with 24 hour surveilance, there’s no way they can stop him doing any ‘work’ for Mercedes.

    That is, of course, unless he makes a cock-up of Mike Coughlan proportions. I can see McLaren combing over every pixel of whatever pictures their cameras can take of Mercedes’ cars this and next season.

    Also, can’t see Brawn coming out of this with much dignity, which is sad to see. I’m a massive fan of Lewis, and really want him to succeed; I just hope he played no part in this little coup.

    1. Andrew Carter says:

      There’s a limit to what you can do at home and since he wont be allowed on the premesis at McLaren (or at least near the engineering departments) and stepping foot in brackley would leave him with some serious legal problems, I don’t think McLaren have much to worry about in that area beyond what he already knows.

    2. DonSimon says:

      No way would he risk his rep like that. He will be knee deep in geraniums in no time.

    3. Tim says:

      Also, can’t see Brawn coming out of this with much dignity, which is sad to see. I’m a massive fan of Lewis, and really want him to succeed; I just hope he played no part in this little coup…

      I would imagine that the £XXXmillion that RB will ‘trouser’ might ease the pain of any loss of dignity:-)

      As regards LH part in this, I think you have overlooked Paddy Lowe was already in disucssions to leave McLaren and join Williams. That’s turned into Mercedes because Toto moved teams – nothing to do with LH at all.

      1. Captain LeChuck says:

        Ah, I hadn’t thought about the potential Williams move. That’s rather reassuring. :)

    4. Wade Parmino says:

      Why couldn’t he have just seen out his contract with McLaren, until the end of the year, and THEN signed a deal with Mercedes for 2014?

      Is there a legal problem with such a scenario?
      If so, Why?

      1. Kay says:

        Just my thoughts:
        1. the current contract must last beyond the current year
        2. For a senior staff as high up as Lowe, he most probably needs probably months or even a year of notification in advance in order to terminate his contract
        3. for his own sake, he needs to make sure he has a new contract new place before signing off the current one.

      2. Random 79 says:

        It’s a simple scenario in itself and there’s probably no legal problems there, but as soon as McLaren got a whiff of the fact that Lowe might be leaving for another team the situation would have gotten a lot more complicated very quickly, so there was no point in postponing anything.

        He will see out his contract with McLaren for appearances sake, but the reality is that he is done at McLaren and won’t be allowed back in the door any time soon.

      3. Clear View says:

        Most work contacts prevent you working for a competetor for 1year but as F1 is a very dynamic work place and in 1 year people can get left behind in technology terms, therefore in F1 they reduce this to 6months hence the ‘gardening leave’ allows a defector to sit out for 6months so they are not up to date with the team they are exiting but not so far behind they can’t get to grips with the task with their new team. Hope that helps answer your question.

      4. MikeW says:

        Probably because he’s an employee with a very long notice period, rather than a fixed-period contractor.

        Essentially, he has now handed in his resignation to start the notice period, and McLaren get to choose what he works on during that period.

        His terms of employment will have confidentiality clauses that means he – legally – cannot do any work for Mercedes while still employed at McLaren, even if he is forced to spend the remainder of that employment term at home.

      5. AuraF1 says:

        It’s not said anywhere, but apparently a lot of the teams do have non-poaching agreements in their contracts with staff, to ensure gardening leave of at least 9-12 months is enforced. Sometimes these are waived but I imagine Mercedes and McLaren have always had this in place since Merc came back into the sport as a constructor.

        Drivers contracts are almost set up to ensure they can be changed, this is as much for the benefit of the team wanting to ditch drivers as it is for the driver who might want to move on. But with engineering staff who have access to future plans – the contracts will be a lot more covered. I suspect Paddy Lowe HAS to give at least 9 months notice if he wants to work for another team, even if his current employment had ended, so he had to make the announcement now to be ready to join in 2014. Otherwise he would have had to sit out for 9 months of next year with no contract anywhere.

        This type of post-contract period non-competition clause is quite frequent in science and engineering industries. I can only imagine F1 takes it to an extreme to protect their intellectual property.

  4. Joe S says:

    Hamilton’s departure may just have started McLaren’s fall down to where they were in the mid-2000s. Though some would say Whitmarsh has done that, I disagree.

    1. Nick Hipkin says:

      I dont buy the Whitmarsh has ruined Mclaren theory, although operationally they were sloppy last year you have to say the team is missing out on some big backing from Merc right now all because Ron Dennis wanted to take them on in the road car division

    2. W Johnson says:

      Why blame Hamilton????? Mercedes could be throwing money at several employees from many indirect contacts who bump into each most weekends.

      1. Joe S says:

        I’m not blaming Hamilton. I’m saying that him leaving is the event which may have started McLaren’s fall out of the top three. It’s unlikely they’ll be in the top 2 as Button and Perez, while it’s a good solid team, can’t match the top two. Lotus look like at least being as good as they were in 2012. McLaren could be 4th this year, they may struggle for a few years and the cycle repeats.

        I’ve put my main support behind McLaren once Honda left and Jenson joined them but I’m really not optimistic on the immediate future. Would be nice if Ron was still around but then he can’t go on forever I guess.

  5. Anne says:

    Well we knew this will hapen. So this year Paddy Lowe is going to be a butler in McLaren to keep him away from key McLaren information.

    1. Sebee says:

      It’s the only way they could stall Mercedes’ plans. Fair play to pay back Mercedes for trying to buy success.

      As I said above, I think this may actually get people to support McLaren more. They have beaten Mercedes fair and square 3 years running, and now Mercedes is trying to buy all the “assets” they think will make them like McLaren. Gut feeling tells me they will fail as others have before them.

      Manufacturers don’t have the same passion for F1. We’ve seen it over and over again. I expect no different result in the case of Mercedes to be honest.

      1. Anne says:

        I have nothing against McLaren´s policy. I think it could be better to find a way to part ways with Lowe earlier, before the summer breake. I´m thinking about a bizarre environment this season at McLaren.

      2. Sebee says:

        I just hope Mercedes doesn’t star giving McLaren detune engines as payback. They are being extremely agressive toward this one competitor.

      3. Onko says:

        Sebee you are 100% right,McLaren is a Lazarus
        Tim Goss is a top shelf article,its pity they
        lost( Samuel Colt)that matters most Hamilton.
        As for Mercedes a very,very much top heavy and
        mostly yesterday man and would bees,the moment
        Ross Brawn goes fishing they will fall apart
        Ron Dennis should have a launch with Luca D.M
        in regard of next year engine and leave the
        Dad Army althogether.
        One thing I must disagree with you Ferrari
        has full blooded passion for F1.
        Cheers

      4. Kevin Green says:

        Are you mad? Ferrari Mclaren are and for decades have been the biggest rivals in F1 It would have to be Renault or Honda…..But long term i feel they should buy Cosworth (more so now there into production cars) and poach some engine techs from Renault/Ferrari.

      5. Grant says:

        With just Perez and Button, and now Lowe gone.
        It’s rather too optimistic to see them as better of.

      6. Steven says:

        WOW!! Talk about disliking a team LOL Cant hide it…

      7. Sebee says:

        I admit annoyance at Mercedes targetting McLaren so heavily. I also think that people going there for money is just sitting the wrong way for me as a fan. Memories of BAR all over again. It is this reason that I think overall they will fail. Spending a lot is not a secret weapon and other teams will beat them at it.

      8. Dan says:

        Imagine a team with the fastest car and the fastest driver…

        That was McLaren last year and they won nothing.

        Maybe it was all the other aspects around the ‘assets’ that cost them, I think Mercedes are taking all that’s good from McLaren and in my opinion cannot possibly be any worse overall as a team, with regards to pit stops, strategy and reliability.

        Lewis lost over 100 points because of reliability last year, he was let down by a poor team.

        People say he is mad to leave McLaren, but why?
        He should have won the championship in his debut year, but was let down by his team, he just about won in 2008, but shouldnt have been so tight and hasn’t been close since, so in my opinion he has nothing to lose, as history suggests McLaren will more than likely let him down.

      9. Brad says:

        “just about won in 2008″??? Did I miss something?

      10. Random 79 says:

        I had the same thought Brad, but I assume ‘just about’ means something completely different in Danworld.

      11. Dan says:

        @ Brad

        I meant they made a lot harder work of it than they should have.

      12. Tim says:

        Manufacturers don’t have the same passion for F1. We’ve seen it over and over again…

        I do understand the point you are making, but I think you have overlooked the most successful team of all – Ferrari.
        Aren’t they a manufacturer team?

      13. Cliff says:

        That’s exactly the point! Only Ferrari can honestly say that they are 100% commited to F1. Honda, Toyota and BMW and even Renault have reduced their involvement to supplying engines. Whilst they came and went, Ferrari stayed.

        PS. I’m not a fan of Ferrari, but the facts speak for themselves.

      14. EzPez says:

        they are manufacturer’s its true, but not in the same vein as Mercedes, or Honda. not that it makes much of a difference, weather its a Drinks Company, a Car Company or a Indian tycoon that paints the team car, they all have year’s of experience building F1 cars. At the heart, they are all racing team.

      15. mdmax says:

        yes, but ferrari started as a racing organization. they started manufacturing to support their racing addiction.

      16. Sebee says:

        It is foolish in F1 to compare as a manufacturer Ferrari and Toyota, Honda, Renault, BMW, Mercedes. Of course they are a manufacturer, but they live for racing in F1 unlike all others. They enter and leave at will for one. They win nothing as team owners most of the time.

        I think everyone here can agree that Ferrari are quite different. Even with Fiat in the mix.

      17. Kay says:

        In Enzo’s theory, racing goes before making cars. He only made cars to fund his racing activities. So for them the passion is different and their priorities always put racing first before making cars.

      18. Tim says:

        Calm down everyone, I did say that I understood the point being made-:)
        Of course I appreciate there is a difference between constructors and pure racing teams – the most significant being the constructors do not derive their main source of income from racing and therein lies the problem. If you aren’t 100% reliant on racing as an income source there will always be, at some level, slightly less effort and consequently less success. Nothing like fighting for survival to motivate people.
        However, I remain unconvinced that Ferrari are not a constructor team. Their main income is derived from selling cars, not racing. Whatever their history may be, they are now a motor manufacturer and part of the Fiat group. They use F1 in much the same way as RBR, which is to promote their product. I even read a quote from Luca where he said his main job is to sell cars not run a racing team.
        Anyway, just my opinion, you are all entitled to yours.

      19. Sebee says:

        Actually Tim, I think Ferrari’s main income is derived from logo T-Shirts, Ferrari branded bears, licensing the brand to Lego/Mattel and other Ferrari Store related revenue. And of course, Ferrari ash trays, I have one myself. 40 Euro – all margin. :-)

      20. Matt F says:

        We need to remember THEY’RE ALL hardcore dedicated racing teams. RBR is descended from Stewart GP, Lotus from Toleman and Mercedes from Tyrrell. They all live to race and have been around for a long time, not just Ferrari.

      21. hero_was_senna says:

        Sebee, following on your point of aggressive behaviour towards Mclaren, something comes to mind. Lauda was stunned by the coldness of Ron Dennis when he told the press in Austria 85 that he was retiring.
        Considering how cold Lauda is emotionally regards his career, this speaks volumes.
        I wonder if this is Lauda getting revenge on Ron?
        Funny really, he left Ferrari because of being demoted behind Reutemann for 1977, but he always maintained huge respect for the Old Man

      22. Sebee says:

        If it is a bit of old payback, I just hope Ron won’t have to wait as long to get his back in Lauda/Mercedes.

  6. Michael P says:

    I read Renault have an issue with their 2013 engine mapping. They believe the changes made in 2012 were for 2012 only. However the FIA does not see it that way. Obviously these changes are going to affect Red Bull and Lotus which seem to be the fastest cars on the grid right now. Wonder why they were so fast…

    1. Michael P says:

      FROM AUTO123.com: Renault was reportedly unaware of the federation’s stance until as recently as Thursday of last week, having developed new maps to optimise the exhaust-blowing effect for 2013.

      Ross Brawn, Mercedes’ team boss, thinks the situation could now harm Red Bull and Lotus, as their similar exhaust solutions for 2013 were probably designed to work in conjunction with “a clever engine management system”.

      1. FerrariFan says:

        Source please. I would like to read it if its in english. Thanks.

      2. Sebee says:

        Hey,

        You remember how McLaren paid 100M for Spygate and Renault got a slap on the wrist for Crashgate?

        Do you honestly believe that FIA will have the guts to not allow Renault a new map?

        Here is how the conversation will go between Renault and Todt…actually, it will be just one sentence.

        “If you have a problem with our new 2013 map, will you have a problem when Renault is not supplying engines in 2014?”

        Please feel free anyone to enlighten me on the response.

        One thing is for certain…Renault have negotiating power, and they will use it. This is why this is a non story. Renault will have a new map for 2013.

      3. FerrariFan says:

        Is the Renault special relation with FIA because they are French? Then one might also suspect that Ferrari are in cahoots with Pirelli. But we didn’t see any major advantage for ferrari.

      4. Martin says:

        I don’t know the site, but the story doesn’t sound that credible to me. I guess if the reference torque map is to the start of 2012 then technically that could make some sense.

      5. Quade says:

        The story real.
        Mercedes raised the compaint based on an audio recording of the Red Bull engine.

      6. Quade says:

        Sorry about my last post. I mixed up last years Renualt engine controversy with this years. There is no reason to believe that Mercedes has anything to do with the latest engine mapping troubles for Renault, Lotus and Red Bull.

  7. Richardd says:

    Lewis said that “as far as he is aware, Lowe is not coming to Mercedes” This comes from one of your posts in January. Does that constitute ‘insisting’ as James’ puts it?

    1. Pat M says:

      Well perhaps not.
      But if you add ‘I have been assured by Ross’ that he is staying,’he is here to try to win with me’ as well as Paddy ‘works with Maclaren as far as I am concerned ‘ it does start to sound a little insistant :)

    2. Spyros says:

      More to the point, Lewis WAS right: Lowe won’t come to the team in 2013, it will be in 2014. I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

  8. Gul says:

    wow…i can’t keep up…well if Ron wants McLaren to bleed they most certainly are. :)

    1. Sebee says:

      You don’t think some new blood will step up and McLaren?

      How many times has McLaren re-invented it’s team and maintain contender status?

      How is the track record at Mercedes with that so far?

      I said it before and I’ll say it again. Schumi is no magician, but no slouch either. Mercedes wasn’t motivated by his presence for 3 years, suddenly they up the spending and think it’s that simple?

      How many teams have we seen overspend with no success? If you remember, mostly Manufacturer teams right? Renault is the exception with that tire war advantage.

      1. Val from montreal says:

        U tell ‘em Sebee !

        Ross Brawn , Costa , Willis , Wolff , Lauda , Lowe ….

        Who’s next ? Santa Claus and Hero was Senna ??

        Laughing out loud ! Mercedes please give it a rest … Germans dont care anymore , You used Schumacher and Haug as your scape goats … Les jeux sont faits …

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I like that I’m in your thoughts val, but placing me in the same sentence as Santa….

      3. Brace says:

        Renault was successful because they didn’t organize their team like regular manufacturers, with some board trying to run a team through some weak team principal. It was pretty much a real racing organization like Briatore was running back in 90s.
        There was clear hierarchy with the de-facto boss Flavio with no shareholders poking their noses and interfering with his job. Renault the manufacturer was simply footing the bill and putting its name on the car. Everything else was done as a proper racing team with team boss being in charge and not some bunch of bored execs.

        Look at Red Bull too. How often do you hear from Matesitch? He’s barely mentioned and Horner and Newey are giving room to go about their job. Red Bull was crap for 4 years, barely managing few podiums and I don’t remember anyone shuffling Horner out of his job.

      4. Kay says:

        +1 well said.

      5. Sebee says:

        Renault were sucessful because the French are determined. Michelin helped them quite a but too with the tire war. And they did exactly what I said above – people who you never heard off came up with brilliant stuff. Like the Polish guy who did their launch software and the designer guys who came up with things like that dumpener.

        Indeed I agree with you 100% that it was a proper racing team. But it also showed the fact that manufacturers don’t want the risks of pushing things too far. I would argue that much of the benefit of WDCs on 05/06 was erased with 08 and Renault Team dragged through mud.

      6. Tim says:

        I think you are being a little unfair and are not really comparing eggs with eggs, ie a team in their infancy and a well established outfit. Mclaren took 5 years from inception to winning a GP and 11 years for their first champinship.
        Mercedes won a GP in their 3rd year so they are actually way ahead of McLaren. It remains to be seen whether they can ‘beat’ them to a championship.
        As far as spending is concerned, in F1(and motor sport in general)money does buy performance. Just look at RBR. Obviously you need clever people to spend the money in the right way – that’s the infrastructure that Mercedes are putting in place – but the bottom line is nothing happens without the money.

      7. Sebee says:

        I am not sure it is that simple. Agreed that it is not a fully fair comparison. But Mercedes s not a from scratch scenario. As a team it now what…15 years old? I agree with you that money is important to sucess but it is far from guaranteed that money will take.you all the way.

        Do you honestly think that these people that Mercedes took held something back in case Mercedes hires them? You think Lowe has some magic bullet he never used before at McLaren? Sure…he may help them build a better chasis. But will it be enough?

      8. Tim says:

        Sebee
        No, of course I don’t think the new personel, that have been hired by Mercedes, have some ‘magic bullet’ hidden up their sleeve. Nor is throwing money at a problem (on it’s own) going to fix the problems and guarantee success. However, it’s fair to say teams that have been most successful in recent times, have also been the teams with the biggest budgets, eg Ferrari, McLaren, RBR.
        If Mercedes are serious about winning then they have got to start somewhere. That means getting the right group of people together along with sufficient budget to develop the car. Think of RBR, what did they do to turn around the fortunes at Jaguar? It didn’t happen without the right people in the right places and it didn’t happen overnight.
        Its hard to imagine the people making these sort of decisions are quite as naive as some posters would have us believe. I am quite sure the appropriate contractual arrangements have been made regarding timescales and investments.
        Time will tell.

      9. hero_was_senna says:

        Couple of points.
        Mclarens debut was 1966 Monaco GP. They won their first championship in 1974.
        Re: Mercedes, their origins date back to the Tyrrell team of the late 60′s

      10. Tim says:

        reply
        hero_was_senna
        I wouldn’t argue with you – I only looked up McLaren on Wiki and it says formed in 1963 and won first F1 race in 1968 and championship 1974. Hence my post of 5 and 11 years respectively.
        With regard to Mercedes origins dating back to the 60′s with Tyrell, that may well be true. However, my point was the unfair comparison being made between a team that has been established for 50 years, with Ron Dennis at the helm for over 30 years, and a team that has only been under the Mercedes umbrella for 3 years.
        It’s not comparing eggs with eggs:-)

  9. ramsa says:

    the only thing that comes to my mind …

    “to many cooks spoil the broth” and that I fear may happen in Mercedes F1…

    Mercedes sadly seem to be taking an all together a very familiar route which Honda/Toyota/BMW did… spike the stakes so high that failure as an option may not be allowed …

    If they bomb in 2014 …i think by 2016 they may very well wind up and become an engine.
    supplier ..

    1. CHXUNDA says:

      Too many Chiefs too few indians – this doesn’t look good for Mercedes. Who in their right mind would replace multiple championship winning Brawn with Paddy – oh well there is that crazy guy Lauda and his sidekick Wolf. Paddy is good at designing cars – its not the same thing as running a team! Aaargh!

      1. Quade says:

        Paddy Lowe might be taking over as Mercedes Technical Director or some other R&D post. If thats the case, then the sporting side of things which Brawn heads, will remain unthreathened.

        Paddy Lowe might also be coming in to partner with Costa for the 2014 car. Remember its being developed in parallel, so Mercedes would effectively need two seperate teams running two very distinct programmes (giving the impression of being top heavy). If this is so, then the area to look out for future job losses will be within the 2013 car team. Again, Ross Brawn seats above that team, so won’t be affected.

      2. James Allen says:

        No, Paddy is moving up a level – to something similar to Brawn at Honda/Mercedes, or Bob Bell when he was briefly running Renault

      3. Quade says:

        I see! That puts a whole new perspective on things.

        I’ll seize this opportunity to say thanks for a great, balanced website and the insider info it provides.

      4. MK_Chris says:

        “Too many Chiefs too few Indians”.

        This begs the question :- Who has all the Cowboys ?

    2. Timmay says:

      Yup. This will happen.

    3. Monktonnik says:

      I agree.

      They seem to be poaching a lot of talent.

      How many Technical Directors does one team need?

      I must say that after Geoff Willis was ousted from Red Bull I was surprised to see him end up at Mercedes.

    4. Steve Zodiac says:

      Absolutely, the last two comments are spot on these manufacturers don’t understand what it takes to win and it ain’t just money. Norburt was at McClaren for years if he couldn’t make Mercedes winners I don’t see that anyone can. Same path as Honda and Toyota and Ford and BMW. Renault did it right, they let the team be completely autonimous as did Ferrari in the Brawn, Todt, Rory McBurn years. Look at Ferrari now.

      1. Tim says:

        It’s not the same path, Toto owns a very significant stake in the team – something like 40% is the figure I have seen. So for Toto, at least, failure is not an option.
        And let’s not forget Frank Williams (a pretty good judge of such matters) was proposing to put Toto in charge of his team.
        I think the naysayers may well have been a little too hasty in writing off their chances.
        Only time will tell.

  10. Luis says:

    I hope Ross Brown goes to Williams

    1. Anne says:

      I said this before. Williams has a tight budget. Brawn has to be willing to take a pay cut.

    2. mattj says:

      Me too. It’s twice now they’ve lost someone who was be seen as the eventual replacement for Frank as team principal and with Frank travelling less to fly away races Brawn could slot in nicely there.

    3. Sebee says:

      How about Ross replaces Bernie?

      1. Clear View says:

        Ross comes across as “too nice” to replace Bernie, he will be replaced by a team as Bernie ain’t gonna give up his secrets lol

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Too nice? Wow you must have missed the Benetton/ Ferrari years when rules were pushed to the absolute limit.
        What about the 1991 Jaguar XJ/14, totally legal but beyond anything the spirit of the rules allowed.
        He’s an extremely intelligent man, and actually a great call to replace bernie. Iron fist in velvet glove.

  11. ian says:

    Would Lowe have displaced someone at Williams? ( if it had happened).

    1. Christos Pallis says:

      The origional plan at Williams was Toto Wolf and Lowe, both there to replace Sir Frank Williams. Toto to look after the people and business side of things and Paddy to look after the car side of things. Would have been good for Williams but that’s all gone Pete Tong

  12. Fellowes says:

    What a mess…McLaren are bleeding talent and Mercedes are in organisational turmoil. I’m sure someone knows what is going on, but until it is settled, both teams seem to be pretty unstable and that cannot help them to focus on the 2013 task of winning races.

    1. W Johnson says:

      I am gutted by this news. Sad for McLaren and says so much about F1 and the money game it has become. Bottom 7 teams in survival mode and at least one team with predatory financial muscle to poach the best talent from another team because they have been a total failure since entering F1.

    2. Panagiotis says:

      Very true, but McLaren is breeding talent, and expect bleeding for the team. Mercedes is just loosing or wastes money, they are also in decision making turmoil, call it Celebrity engineering.

      1. Christos Pallis says:

        I’m a technical director, get me out of here! ( in walk Ant and Deck )

  13. Arno Nonymous says:

    Maybe Mercedes need Paddy to replace someone else than Brawn, like Geoff Willis? Just a thought.

    1. Sikhumbuzo says:

      Or Bob Bell

  14. McLaren78 says:

    “Goss…designed the 2008 McLaren in which Hamilton won the world championship, as well as the 2010 car, which won five races and the 2012 car which won 7 races.”

    I thought that Doug McKiernan was the chief aerodynamicist for 2008. Unless by “designed” you mean chief engineer.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Isn’t chief aerodynamicist different to lead designer? Even Newey has a chief aerodynamicist working alongside him but you wouldn’t say Newey wasn’t the designer.

      I’m not sure if McLaren have a different structure but aero would suggest simply aero surfaces development.

  15. Michael says:

    Mclaren (RMS Titanic) is taking on water. First, Pat Frye, second Lewis Hamilton, third Paddy Lowe, who will be the next in line?

    1. Jenny says:

      Or perhaps they are just discarding the unwanted debris. Debris that is happily being picked up by a much inferior team in desperate need.

      1. Michael says:

        We’ll see who will be the desperate team this year. Mclaren will not win anything with a mediocre driving line up and yes I was referring to Button & Perez.

      2. Andrew M says:

        Funny how they’ve only become “unwanted debris” after they’ve left the team for a competitor.

  16. Dave Deacon says:

    Seems very messy and tawdry. They’ll all likely fall flat on the rear bits in the scramble for power. LH must be thinking: what did I do!!?

  17. shri says:

    With unhappy results in 3 years, Mercedes made wholesale changes with Toto and Lauda. Maybe Brawn is / was on the block to be kicked out but delayed by Lowe’s move.

    Hope this brings success to team (however cannot imagine all is well if Brawn the TP is been shown door). We shall have to wait and see how it pans out.

    As far as McLaren is concerned they seem to have a good internal development of technical person that moves up every time someone moves out. I am sure it will be a loss for a short time but McLaren have moved on with such changes many times in the past and new folks have risen to the challenge.

    Maybe it is time for fresh blood both at Mercedes and McLaren.

  18. franed says:

    One just has the suspicion that Hamilton was relying on new ideas and new blood to give him what he needs at Merc. With Paddy joining (he had little option after being “outed” by Ross a few weeks back) Lewis is back to square one. Next we shall hear that Whitmarsh is headed to Merc in 2015. However Merc could be out of F1 by then.
    How long before the explosion then? Ross, Lauder, Wolff all in charge, I don’t see Ross standing for that for too long. Then we shall loose one of the greatest tactical brains in the sport. Then Hamilton will be off again!

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Ross is a very wealthy man, with the sale to Mercedes he’s more than able to retire and enjoy his life, much as Rory Byrne was urging him (though I guess Ferrari tempted Byrne back!).

      Whitmarsh is not in the same position to rely on vast personal wealth. I’m sure he’s very well paid but he’s not in the same sort of category.

      To be fair, Ross seemed utterly switched on in 2009, using his tactical nous alongside the double diffuser to push Button all the way. He was always engaged. But since 2010 he’s just come across as indifferent and almost resigned to the typical pressures of a mid-field team. Even with his old friend Schumacher along for the ride. It wouldn’t surprise me if Brawn has lost a lot of the love of the game now. He just seems quite distant in interviews the past few years.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        I always got that impression from 2010 onwards. He came with a CV boasting Williams, Benetton, Ferrari and Brawn. Racing teams to the core.
        Mercedes buying the team has made him wealthy but I suspect Haug, a company man and Mercedes were the men behind hiring MSC. no matter his previous records, did Brawn actually see this as a wise move. In fact in interviews in 2010, he spoke of having told Rosberg that he wanted to see him compete against Michael.
        If he doesn’t retire, and F1 is a drug, then I can see him joining a race team again.
        F1 types don’t appear to enjoy the corporate world

  19. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Good move from Mercedes, taking off a top engineer from a top team.

    I don’t see why Mercedes cannot do well in 2013, when so many teams will also do well this year, they have the Coanda, etc.

    Hamilton is a plus, but maybe Rosberg will match perfectly.

  20. Richard says:

    The important thing to remember is that Lewis is employed by Mercedes, and all these decisions will have taken place at board level.
    I think it likely that Ross will leave at the end of 2013 and it would be good if it was on a high. It’s starting to look rather differently now about Lewis leaving McLaren as it is more than evident that Mercedes are deadly serious about their intentions. If this is Ross’s final year one can only wish him well in his retirement, and well deserved rest.

    1. Sikhumbuzo says:

      Lowe is good but not at Brawn level, to replace Brawn they ll need say Witmarsh.

      1. Richard says:

        Well Brawn has had a lot of success, but things are rather different these days, and he will not be as sharp as he was ten years ago. Whitmarsh has not had a championship win whilst being team principal. Lowe I think is a bit of an unknown quantity in the driving seat so to speak. I do like Brawn’s calm methodical approach though, but he needs the talent behind him in the design department just like any other team principal.

  21. CHXUNDA says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more

  22. DB4Tim says:

    James this term “garden leave” does or is that controlled tightly with some sort of check and balance system….I am not saying anyone would do this …but couldn’t you still work form home on a stand alone computer and still help your future team…..or is it so interlinked you really must be at work so to speak?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Garden leave is just a way to say that he’ll still be on the payroll for 2013, but he won’t actually doing anything. Knowing that he’s heading for Mercedes in 2014 McLaren aren’t going to let him within shouting distance of Woking and he won’t be allowed access to any technical or operational informational files.

      I’m sure that Paddy will be spending a lot of 2013 doing whatever it is he does for a hobby – and that might well be a bit of gardening :)

      1. Random 79 says:

        Technical operational informational files…

        Somebody please just slap me.

      2. Anne says:

        *Punches Random in the nose*

        :)

        I can see Paddy Lowe gardening. He will be planting trees and flowers all over the Woking factory. The car will be more environment friendly.

      3. Random 79 says:

        I said slap – *SLAP* – me, not punch, but still, thanks :)

        Maybe Ron will have Paddy planting trees and flowers all around the factory in order to create an environmentally friendly impenetrable barrier in a last ditch effort to stop anymore key personnel from leaving the team.

        Now if you’ll excuse me I need to put my nose back.

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        I would but you sound you’re Ron Dennis’s understudy, and he scares me man!!

    2. Quade says:

      I remember being put on garden leave some years ago. You put your feet up, walk the dog, sleep 9 to 5 and still get full pay. Nice!
      You lose some freedom, though and feel a bit lonely.

    3. Jake says:

      Perhaps working on the McLaren MP4-13C.

      1. Quade says:

        Lol! More like desperately searching for a new job before the holiday was over.

  23. Roger W says:

    I love all this to-ing and fro-ing, it’s really fun to watch the results of this a few years down the line, a good example is that when Ross Brawn went to Mercedes it was mooted that the “golden Schumacher” years would return, but that has not happened.

    I think this is all good for Mclaren also, new talent, fresh ideas must be better that stagnation with the same old team….

  24. Paul says:

    Well you would have to assume RB, Ferrari and Lotus are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of what looks like turmoil at Merc and McLaren.

  25. Adil Desai says:

    I see this as a bigger blow to Williams, who is in despirate need of top level senior management capable of taking the reins from Sir Frank when he decides to retire.

    Mercedes is so top heavy with engineering talent that I’m afraid that they won’t be able to coalese as a team and will continue to founder.

  26. Jenny says:

    Lowe has been forced out of McLaren, pure and simple. Much the same as Hamilton was.

    When it comes to winning, winning teams are quite ruthless. Just like in real life.

    1. Andrew M says:

      Yeah, they really booted Hamilton out of the door with those 11th hour contract talks and well publicised fresh offers.

      1. Sikhumbuzo says:

        And they let him lose the title.

      2. Andrew M says:

        And Martin Whitmarsh masterminded the Kennedy Assassination.

    2. Hal says:

      LH was ‘forced’ out of McLaren? Obviously you have information we don’t…..

      1. Hal says:

        No…that is not being ‘forced’ out. Mclaren wanted Hamilton but not at any cost (commercial rights etc).

      2. Cliff says:

        All that says is that McLaren were prepared to let Lewis Hamilton go if he would not sign on the teams terms. That’s not forcing him out, it just the employer reminding the employee that they run the business.

      3. Andrew M says:

        “Life isn’t about one person deciding anything. It’s never that way. It’s about circumstances. Everybody says: ‘Am I bitterly this or bitterly that?’ What? I’m a realist. Did we have the ability to create a situation where we could have stayed together? Categorically, yes. Would that have been the right thing to do? We didn’t think so.”

        Finest piece of Ronspeak I’ve heard for some time.

    3. SaScha says:

      Strange way to see it. Wasn’t it reported Ron would open up his chequebook to keep Lowe?
      They offered Hamilton enough to make him the best paid F1 driver.
      Looks like there is something beyond money why people want to leave McLaren.

      1. AuraF1 says:

        Promotion I guess. Paddy Lowe cannot be promoted higher than Martin Whitmarsh and Ron keeps his oar in as it’s his obsessive personality type.

        So perhaps Paddy Lowe just wanted to have the job title? For some people, when you’re at very high salaries, the prestige and title can be more important than the cash.

        Oddly Button went to McLaren despite Brawn/Mercedes insisting they offered him a much bigger salary. His point was he felt McLaren were a better bet and he wanted to try his luck against the generally higher regarded Lewis Hamilton.

        Perhaps Lowe just wants to have that public facing role that he could never achieve within the McLaren corporate structure as it is.

  27. Sossoliso says:

    Oh dear. I cannot imagine LH will e laughing much longer if the new Team starts recruiting McLaren Engineers over to the new TEAM just when he (LH) thought he was ought of the mess at McLaren. Looks like it will follow him over to Mercedes. They may have fast Cars over at McLaren, but they do not know how to go racing. No one appears to be in charge at McLaren with everyone concentrating of watching their backs instead of making the hard decisions…Shanghai 2007 comes to mind. It appears no one at McLaren had realised all they needed to do was bring Hamilton home in the points and Kimi would have been out of the championship. By the time he was called into the pits for new tyres, he could not make it because he had been left out too long on worn tyres..oops indeed.

    1. goferet says:

      @ Sossoliso

      Thinking about the 2007 season, it all worked out for good in the end especially for Lewis.

      Imagine if Lewis had won 2007 with all it’s controversies, it would have been a stain on his legacy forever.

      Yes, the very day Mclaren were caught with Ferrari’s documents, is the day Kimi and Ferrari deserved the titles.

      And who knows, maybe part of the FIA punishment/deal with Mclaren was for the team to make sure their drivers wouldn’t win i.e. gearbox glitch for Lewis at Brazil 2007.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        In a world of conspiracies, I’ve always believed Mclaren was under orders to let the drivers title go. I cannot believe I’m with you on this!!

    2. Steven says:

      You can really blame somebody in the position of Lowe for last year. He ddesigned a very fast car, is the rest of the team that let Lewis down.

    3. James Clayton says:

      There’s nothing wrong with McLaren’s engineering team. I’m pretty sure they’d be an asset to Mercedes. Just so long as the pit crew don’t come along as part of the package…

    4. Tim says:

      Mclaren don’t know how to go racing!!! Eh???

      They are the second most successful team in F1 history and have won better than 25% of all the races they have entered.
      I bet there are a great many teams that would like to be as ‘bad’ at racing as McLaren.

  28. Lee says:

    I see it like this:

    McLaren – lost an experienced Tech Director but they have gained an experienced replacement well thought of within the team and in F1. Despite some good cars, designed by Goss, in recent years they haven’t brought home the titles. New blood at the top table might not be a bad thing. Might turn out to be a Good Day.

    Goss – promotion to the job he presumably always wanted. Good Day for Tim.

    Mercedes – they have a top heavy management structure and if the views of other posters are correct this may lead to the loss of one of the sports most successful TD’s in Ross Brawn. If he doesn’t leave as predicted you can see a bloated decision making process leading to a lack of direction for the team. Typical corporate response to failure open the cheque book. In my view they will regret recent decisions. A potentially bad day.

    Lowe – why he has been seduced by Wolff only they know but he clearly wants to work with his new best friend forever. My guess is he is looking for a major payday with one eye on retirement. He’ll spend a year doing nothing then will have a miserable time at Merc as corporate interference, a bloated management structure and ultimate failure leads to them pulling out of F1 within 4 years pushing Lowe into retirement. A bad day for Lowe the competitive race winner, a good day for his bank manager.

    1. SaScha says:

      You should not underestimate Wolff. IMO he is the puppet player behind the scenes at AMG MercedesF1. He is young hungry, very clever & wealthy. He knows exactly what he does. He is a new generation of F1 motorsports managers. Don’t undersetimate him

      1. Lee says:

        I agree I have been really impressed by him since he came into the sport but he’s an employee and despite undoubted power and influence within the team he will ultimately have to toe the corporate line. It’s Mercs board that has the power ultimately. Everyone seems to be seeing this as bad news for McLaren. Not so sure about that myself. Time will tell.

      2. Tim says:

        I agree, Frank Williams was prepared to hand over the management of his beloved team to him – I can’t see Frank doing that unless he had total confidence in the man.

  29. Dmitry says:

    Shocking… that’s what I feel for McLaren.

    To lose so much in such a short span of a time is a blow. Of course 2014 is a clean sheet for everyone, but without powerful “backend” no team will be successfull… even the one as great as McLaren… and McLaren is losing its backend too quickly.

  30. Mark Boyers says:

    OK so key personnel moving on is not exactly great but Mclaren just can’t afford what Mercedes can pay – They are in a different league. That said I think Mclaren will do ok this year – though I’m not sure if they will win the championship. Regarding Williams – How about Brawn moving their as Team Principal!!

  31. Ryan M says:

    See where Ferrari are after next season, with all the hype about the confidence of the 2014 Mercedes engine, and pressure building on Stefano Domenicali it seems hard to see Ross being overlooked.

  32. Sleeves says:

    There is a saying: An organization / company, they have people they deserve!
    So it is in this case, money, culture, recognition is important stuff.
    Think it will be difficult for Mercedes to get all these strong personalities to work together.
    Ross has earned his money, achieved success and recognition, he is not as hungry anymore ..

  33. danny says:

    Mercedes are making a big push for 2014. They dumped Schumacher and Brawn might be next. Clean slate. Scorched earth. Nobody needs to be worried about bruising egos.

  34. lol says:

    And now we know why Mercedes ran low fuel quali runs during testingto set misleading times, to lure him to Merc.

    1. lol says:

      Oh and Ross to McLaren :P

    2. SaScha says:

      Low fuel 18 laps runs . OK
      While others did full tank fliers, of course !

  35. ashboy says:

    Do you think there will be adeal done here? You can have your man now, but we want free engines or cheaper.

  36. Andrew Carter says:

    So any word on whether McLaren are going after James Allison or not?

    1. Anne says:

      The article is very clear. McLaren named Tim Goss to replace Lowe. Is that a long term deal? I think it will depend of the kind of season McLaren has. Maybe during the season McLaren could have conversations or meetings with Allison. But right now Allison is with Lotus. If McLaren has a bad season then it may not be about one person. I guess McLaren probably need to clean the house and hire many new people.

      1. Andrew Carter says:

        I think you might have missed my point. When this story first came to light 2 months ago the talk was of McLaren approaching James Allison and trying to sign him if they lost Paddy Lowe. Have those planes changed or not is what I’m asking.

      2. Anne says:

        Well at the moment yes, the plans have changed because Tim Goss has been named technical director. Allison had said he stays in Lotus. and he is at Lotus. However if Allison is having talks with McLaren or other teams is unknown. McLaren would have never named Goss if they had an aggrement with Allison done since weeks ago. Look, I check Lotus website and twitter often and Allinson is there and he seems focused in Lotus. He is not hidding. He is hands on with Lotus.

      3. AuraF1 says:

        That was the hint, but James Allison has very firmly committed to Lotus (I know commitment in F1 means very little), but there’s also a lot of reports that Allison dislikes the corporate culture of McLaren, which is run very differently than the much smaller Lotus team.

        As we’ve seen recently, sometimes the biggest cheque doesn’t always win when it comes to signing people up. They have to like the role they’re in.

  37. AlexD says:

    I hear that Renault is using illegal engine maps and most probably current exhausts of Reb Bull and Lotus were designed with this in mind. They will likely be asked to change…..

  38. Quade says:

    The McLaren haemorrhage continues. :(
    I wonder who else will be joining Lewis? Maybe his entire engineering half.

    I just keep praying for the day McLaren will get better management that knows what racing is all about. Right now, the place is run like the damn civil service and the drivers are like robots who must tuck in their shirts and release irobot style sound bytes to schedule. Everything, but win races.

    It was better when Ron Dennis was in charge.

    1. James Clayton says:

      I have a feeling Lewis’ race engineer will be following him across in 2014. Don’t know why. Just a gut instinct.

      1. James Allen says:

        Lewis will work with Jock Clear at Mercedes. Should be a good combination. Jock should get the best out of him.

      2. SaScha says:

        Isn’t Peter Bonnington Lewis race engineer while Clear is the peformance engineer?

    2. Jenny says:

      Mclaren is playing a smart game. Getting rid of the rubbish which others are happy to pick up.

      Sensible strategy in my eyes.

    3. AuraF1 says:

      Quade you do realise that the entire iRobot culture you complain about is a DIRECT result of Ron Dennis personality? He freely admits to being an anal-obsessive about structure and discipline and the current culture of McLaren is simply a reflection of that.

      I see a lot of posters complaining that ‘it was better when Ron was in charge’ but forgetting that it was Ron who wanted the strict, antiseptic, computerised, pristine, OCD approach of McLaren. If you dislike that ‘style’ you can’t blame Martin Whitmarsh or anyone else – that is how Ron thinks, acts, speaks and wants his company to be. This is a man who had the lifts ripped out of the MTC because the chrome wasn’t cleaning up properly!

      Ron Dennis is McLaren. It is a very successful approach (to an extent) but I can see why some people just don’t get along with it forever.

  39. Hansb says:

    Sure thing, Mercedes will become world champion if they keep buying like this. It may take them a year or maybe they have to buy till they own the last toilet cleaners from Mclaren, Ferrari and Redbull… but someday they will be champion…

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      You mean like Ferrari between 1984 to 1999, spending millions and becoming a laughing stock?
      Or more recently, Honda, Toyota or BMW spending 100′s of millions for little return?
      Money in itself is not sufficient, and aren’t Mercedes on record as having bought into F1 because of the RRA, or has that been swept under the rug?

      1. Hansb says:

        In my view, Ferrari in those years failed mainly because of the ‘great’ italian organisation talents and internal leadership battles.

        Latter could be the main threat for Mercedes too but one can not claim there isnt enough organisation talent with Brawn and Wolff.

        By taking over the world champion Brawn team and having insured the services of Ross and Schumacher, Merc thought they had cheap guaranty of success.

        Although RRA may not include wages, recent conquests of Mercedes team does raise its spendings in F1 big time.

    2. Anne says:

      Not sure. There will be big clash of big egos, like in a football team with too many superstars and super rich players.

  40. Greg says:

    Anyone would think Mercedes has given up trying to design a better car to beat the others and instead gone down the route of leaving no staff at other teams to make one at all.

    If Mercedes fail, there are going to be a lot of directors looking for work or this is a serious undercover plot by Mercedes to have the people in place with nowhere to go so when they sell the team they will take it on. There is some serious cash between all those directors!

  41. Thompson says:

    So what will happen to Lowe if Merc win the WDC or the constructures title this year…..?

    Yes I know this may sound like crazy talk, but if after all this restructuring Mercedes become title challengers what happens to Lowe?

    I don’t think its Brawn who’ll be nervous, he has probably resigned himself to one more year for success. Lowe’s jump makes less sense unless he believes Macca are stuffed with Jenson ‘leading’ the team and considers Hamilton the man of the future. But he’ll be in limbo for a year…..wow.

    on a side note I recall Williams lost many key personel back when they dropped Hill in the most undignified way…. look what happened to them.

  42. MB F''wan says:

    MB are very good at spending money, especially when they are cutting costs at their regional offices globally. Obviously the money to pay for Lewis and Lowe needs to come from somewhere.

  43. Rob says:

    McLaren are ripe for picking… I can see all the teams taking the best of the highly-demotivated staff at McLaren.

    This is the beginning of the Whitmarsh, Button and Perez effect…

    If your engineers know your drivers can’t deliver results, they might as well bail for more money elsewhere.

  44. Erik says:

    “I’ve been assured by Ross that his commitment is for the long term and he is here to try to win with me…”

    Must be music to Nico’s ears.

  45. W Johnson says:

    I can fully understand why Ron Dennis felt the need to make the comments he did.

    If Luca di Montezemolo had said the same, some of your contributors would not have been as critical as they were to Ron Dennis.

  46. Aadil says:

    Hi James

    Brawn back to Ferrari?

    I can only wish so! Stefano had his chance!

    Brawn was held back at Merc with all there issues such as insufficient staff and budget etc!

    Brawn knows Ferrari given free will and with all Ferraris massive resources il bet he’l return Ferrari to being a force.

    The thing is it will never happen Luca is too proud to take Brawn back its sad but true!
    Luca would rather Ferrari loose then win and take Brawn back!
    After all that would mean Ferrari made a mistake letting Brawn leave in the first place!

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I hope it happens. One thing to consider, Brawn took a sabbatical in 2007 during which he was approached by Honda. Iirc, there was something about being back in England as his wife’s health needed attention also.
      Ferrari didn’t sack him and he never left on bad terms.
      LdM has proven on many occasions to choose what’s best for the team, his pride doesn’t come into it.
      Who knows Byrne is back working there, maybe Brawn will join him.
      Maybe even young Schumi, he’s racing this Sunday at a circuit 7 miles from my family in Italy, La Conca, wish I could get time off to fly over

      1. Aadil says:

        Yes he did say he wanted to move back too England.

        But he also said he wanted to move forward and he no longer wanted too stay at Ferrari as technical director he wanted to be Team Manager and LDM wanted Stefano incharge instead.

        My problem with Byrne back is his just a consultant he has limited input and @ the end of the day it wont he him designing next yrs car!

        I would have been over the moon if he was back full time as chief designer!

        I have 2 say last yr i lost all faith or hope in Ferrari’s current technical team apart from the engine side.

        They can blame the wind tunnel all they like and blame lack of testing but they threw the title away last yr!

        These wind tunnel issue dont happen over night and they seriously need to get over this ban on in season issue its been 5 yrs now its not like it got banned 1 yr ago.

        When in season testing was banned who asked them not too invest in simulation tools? who ask them to sit and do nothing?

        Thats what leadership is for to have vision to steer the team in the right direction for the future! There failure to invest in simulation tools is down to a lack of vision and poor leadership!

        ive been a Ferrari fan all my life but i dont accept there excuses anymore!

  47. Lockster says:

    James, perhaps you can give some more insight. You mentioned that Toro Wolf had been in the process of recruiting Lowe to Williams but then enticed him to follow him to Mercedes instead.

    My question is, was Lowe’s motivation to move to Williams based on his desire to work for Williams or is he a personal friend of Wolf and more inclined to follow him?

    Or is it just as simple as him being happy to go to Williams but the sudden appearance of the Mercedes opportunity was too good to turn down?

  48. Chris severin says:

    Why the hell are they doing the fans forum at montmelo? Last year they did it at the RACC offices and it was easy to get to. The circuit is a bit of a drive out of the city and the majority of people work until 7 here. Im a teacher and have class until 9.15 but thats my situation. What happens in the end is that its not actaully the fans that can go but only the media. Not a happy fan :(

  49. veeru says:

    This is ridiculous. 5 technical directors in a team?

    why doesn’t Niki Lauda like Ross Brawn. Niki seems like a weasel to me. You cant just kick out Ross Brawn…this is going to come and bite Mercedes hard

    oh boy. i can hardly wait to see Merc kicking Niki lauda out soon

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Back in the mid 80′s, Prost’s nickname was professor.
      Lauda’s was…. RAT

      Says it all doesn’t it?

  50. Panagiotis says:

    Does hamilton really want lowe there? Neverimind, If stefano fails again and Ross is available then I see Ross dressed in red, or in Maca through stocks and shares. Ron and Ross.

  51. Andrew M says:

    I’ve been a McLaren fan for ages but all the talk of loyalty is started to get a little bit sickening. McLaren have had no problems in the past poaching the very best staff from their competitors (Newey) or letting drivers go if a better offer comes along (Coulthard, Kovalainen) – it’s the nature of the business.

  52. Sounds like they were keeping Hamilton in the dark.

    Perhaps they were worried about putting him in the middle of the storm, perhaps they were worried about it being made public or perhaps Hamilton was more instrumental and was just playing coy

  53. Steven says:

    Im willing to bet that Lewis knew about this, and thats part of the reason he signed with Merc. The people saying that Lewis was running away from Maca are wrong IMO. To me, the reason Lewis left was Whitmarsh and Michaels, they couldnt organize the team to support the drivers. With Lowe at Merc, Lewis has someone that knows how he likes the car to behave, and can desing the car to his liking, like last years Maca. Somebody finaly built a better car than Newey and the rest of the team ruined Lewis’s chance to win the championship. My thinking is that there were 2 camps at Maca, a pro Whitmarsh and an anti Whitmarsh. Guess which side Lowe was on.

    1. Jenny says:

      I doubt Lewis knew anything about what is going on. If he did the members of the F1 press corps have a right to be mightily annoyed.

      Worse, I don’t reckon Lewis has any clue about what will happen next week, next month or next summer. He is just a passenger who’s expected to drive when told to drive and shut up when told to shut up.

      But at least he is a well paid passenger.

      1. Steven says:

        I diasgree. I think Lewis made a desicion based on all these developments. He knew Lowe was coming, and he knew Wolf was coming too. People like to paint Lewis as stupid, but that guy is as smart as any other driver in F1. He was presented with an offer, with facts, and he made a disioion.

      2. ReviLO says:

        I think you have made your feelings clear with regard to Hamilton and McLaren.

      3. Andrew M says:

        He was certainly a well paid passenger last year, when he was left helpless as his car ground to a halt while he was leading/ran out of fuel after blitzing pole position/was left stationary while the team screwed up his pit stops.

        (Please delete as appropriate).

  54. Craig in Manila says:

    I really, really, really hope that Mr.Brawn…

    1. Leaves Mercedes late in 2013
    2. Does a deal and buys Toro Rosso
    3. Re-names it as Brawn Ferrari F1
    4. Beats Mercedes in 2014

    Just hoping.

    1. veeru says:

      i would very much like to see that

    2. Random 79 says:

      Can’t see it happening, but it’s a nice thought :)

  55. Random 79 says:

    I could say that the cat’s out of the bag, but the truth is that that little furball escaped a while back.

    Mercedes plan is simple. Obviously they can’t beat the other teams at their own game, so they’ve started using guerilla tactics – they figure that if they take all their enemies personnel it will make their enemies weaker while making themselves stronger.

    At this rate by 2015 Mercedes will have three team principals, eight technical directors, nineteen chief engineers, seven drivers, twenty five executive directors, seventeen non-executive directors and zero constructor trophies.

    Go Mercedes!

    1. veeru says:

      can’t be more right…what does a non-executive chairman do anyway?

    2. Anne says:

      Let´s say you are. Why didn´t Mercedes go after RB personel? The best team in the last 3 years has been RB. Why not going after Newey and Vettel? Why Mercedes is using guerilla tactics against McLaren and not RB?

      1. Random 79 says:

        First: One team at a time.

        Second: Red Bull can probably pay Newey and Vettel just as much as Mercedes would.

        Third: Right now both Newey and Vettel are happy where they are.

        Fourth: I wasn’t being entirely serious :)

        If I’m to be serious, then right now it seems that Mercedes is throwing their cheque book at whoever might be tempted to leave their current team – the latest that I’ve heard of is James Allison, but I’m a little dubious about that. What they are doing struck me as guerilla tactics – which is why I wrote what I did – but the truth is that this is just classic manufacturer tactics which never seem to work.

        When the Mercedes team finally implodes all the talent they’ve recruited over the last year or so will most likely end up back at the same old teams (McLaren, Ferrari, Williams, etc…), but probably not the same teams they left.

      2. Anne says:

        James Allison was linked to McLaren as Paddy Lowe replacement. But for now is not going to happen.

        Mercedes is offering more money and high rank positions. It´s fair game. But it doesn´t sound normal to have many people in high rank positions. It´s hard to organize their respective responssibilities and duties. Besides the reasons behind the changes are not very clear. In what way Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff look to be a better choice than Brawn?

      3. Random 79 says:

        Agreed it’s not normal to have so many ranking positions. Maybe they know what’s going on, but from the outside it looks like a mess, which is why I think the team will implode sooner or later.

        I also agree that Brawn is their best bet for the moment. They could certainly do a damn sight worse :)

        Rumours put Paddy in line for the job, but to the best of my knowledge he’s a technical director. That’s a different thing to being a team principal and I don’t see it working, but who knows? I might be wrong.

    3. hero_was_senna says:

      God, it would be like DTM!!!

  56. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    James – Lauda has always been close to Bernard, particularly since he finished racing. Is there any insight as to whether his appointment at Mercedes has been masterminded by Bernard, perhaps due to displeasure with the pre-2013 era management? Perhaps due to problems negotiating the Concorde agreement? After all, if you believe Adam Parr, this is why he was forced out of Williams.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think you might well be ‘warm’ as they say..

    2. Clear View says:

      @Adrian Newey Jnr, it’s like the lights have all just switched on in my head. Your post makes real sense. I have a habit of forgetting how instumental the “puppet master” really is in every aspect. I like your thinking on this one

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        I can’t wait for the proper biography of the man, the posthumous one where the truth can finally come out!

      2. Clear View says:

        Will be a real eye opener I think. Don’t think we will have to wait too long for that now lol

  57. Elie says:

    This is of course no surprise given Lowes absence at the MP-4/28 launch and all the subsequent Dennis talk about bleeding Mclaren. What this tells me in no uncertain terms is that Mclaren are not prepared to pay for top line people in their team. The debarcle over the Hamilton negotiations highlighted it for me & now Lowe stands to earn twice the money at Mercedes in a higher role with a whole new set of challenges. The first thing Mclaren need to do is learn how to reward performers, the next thing is to let non performers go- that applies across the board!.I don’t know what Mclaren stand to gain by keeping Lowe – even on gardening leave. He is more risk at the team than at Mercedes . They should let him go immediately as the teams are all still relatively early in the 2014 developments also ,so the effect in either team is relatively neutral. I reckon they will come to an agreement of sorts before July anyway.

    As for Mercedes I had always believed Ross Brawn would retire at the end of this year once he got all “his ducks in a row “. I don’t think all the top technical people will stay there once the 2014 platforms have been tried & proven. Once that happens they won’t need Nikki Lauda any more either.

    I really hope that James Allison does not go over to Mclaren as I really like what he is doing at Lotus- though I see this as a very strong possibility and as I said earlier if you are paid twice the money and offered consistent winning potential why wouldn’t you?

    1. Methusalem says:

      But, why is all this taking place now, just three weeks to Australia?

      1. Elie says:

        What the ….difference does it make.????? 3 days, 3 weeks. 3 min, 35 days after- what’s the big deal. you get offered a great job – you take it. Most people saw it coming. The MP4-28 project is well under way.Mclaren are a big team with many people able to take over. Not least Tim Goss
        Toto Wolffe only landed in Mercedes early last month so it’s not like it could have happened much sooner – and when’s a better time -during a race season that runs till Xmas anyway?? Mclaren would extend the gardening leave if he had detailed knowledge of the 2014 car. It’s actually the best time for him to leave now for all parties!

  58. Kevin Green says:

    Mclaren clearly need to break ties with Mercedes. I am amazed this ball never got rolling as soon as Dennis decided to start producing cars and of course Mercedes decided to run there own F1 team.

    They should have then and defo now should switch back to Honda or even now seeing there no longer a racing team Renault.

    Further more why have they not snapped up Cosworth at 1st possible chance? what a trick that would be especially since Mclaren there now in car production, obviously the Cosworth Mclaren engine would need to be phased in or would it? it’s a yr away!

    1. Thompson says:

      Cosworth!?……Now thats just crazy talk.

      1. Kevin Green says:

        Elaborate why? there struggling and for sale and it would more so immediately enhance there car tech on top of the revenue from a huge market overall currently to a large percentage of other production manufactures giving good insight to what others are up to…
        Even links to rallying and other motorsport forms cunning cost effective move i would say!

      2. Thompson says:

        History….cosworth have never produced a great engine or a reliable one. Over the years the teams they have been associated with became back markers, Williams being the highest profile team.

        They don’t have the technical depth to warrent purchase. For Mclaren to go from Mercedes engines to a Cosworth would make no sense.

        even less sense when you consider Mclaren are a racing team with no manufacture backing. Itd cost them in commercial revenue and would most likely be the begining of the end for them and the brand once they stopped winning.

      3. James Allen says:

        Maybe recent years but they won 100s of GPs and WDCs in 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s!!

      4. Kevin Green says:

        Was going going to say there second only to Ferrari as far as power units go in all time F1 race victories lol what a gibbering fool and like i said it would be as much if not more beneficial to the rd car side of operations.

  59. Lockster says:

    Just out of interest, would Lewis have a “key personnel” clause in his contract with Mercedes? I’m pretty sure Vettel has this in his RB contract on case Newey leaves.

    Would Lewis have the right to leave if Brawn left or was pushed out?

    1. Random 79 says:

      With the amount they’re paying him he could probably just buy his way out if he had a mind to. Just call it a refund ;)

  60. Taimur Niaz says:

    It is startling the amount of uncertainty they’ve had with the TD position: first there was the spygate affair with Mike, then Fry went to Ferrari and now Lowe to Mercedes.

    It is a blow to Ross Brawn but I hope Luca offers him a way back to Ferrari. You often see a desire to change things up after a team/group has a very successful run. However people do realize they can’t top what they once had. Brawn back at ferrFerrari would be amazing but he will only be back as principal. As a Ferrari fan I hope Stefano doesn’t mess this season up though.

    1. Anne says:

      Luca won´t offer Brawn anything. If Brawn is interested in his old team then he has to call Luca and ask for the team principal or technical director position.

  61. Gul says:

    i just cant keep up…the news on bbc website this morning “Ross Brawn expected to leave Mercedes after Paddy Lowe joins”….

    1. SaScha says:

      It’s just a guess, nothing more from Benson

  62. Adelaide says:

    Big blow for McLaren…

  63. bearforce1 says:

    What a waste of talent. Lowe is out for an entire season.

  64. Could it be that Ross Brawn, in hiring Michael Schumacher, has actually inadvertantly sealed his own fate. In following his dream Brawn has wasted three years. Three years is a long time in business, in high profile sport three years is a very long time.

    Perceptions are difficult to shrug off. If the Merc board feel that Brawn represents a thawn in their investment then he has to go.

    Will Brawn’s once shining light be snuffed out like Schumacher before him? I fear this was the writing on the wall.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Schumacher wasn’t the problem; the car was. They could have put anyone else in the car and gotten the same result, if not worse.

      1. Anne says:

        It´s true to some extend.Rosberg beat Schumacher. So there was anyone else in the same car. Schumacher won the pole in Monaco but he couldn´t enjoy it much because of a penalty. In 3 years all Schumacher could win was a podium in Valencia. The car was part of the problem but not all.

      2. Random 79 says:

        He also had a lot of mechanical failures.

  65. SuperSi says:

    Lies, lies, lies. I would’nt believe a word Mercedes say from now on. It was obvious Lowe was moving there when the rumours started.
    I think its a safe bet that with Ross Brawn “insisting” that he’s staying for “the long haul”, will stay for about 3 more weeks as principal and then hand over. That seems to be the way Mercedes are doing things at the moment. I bet Lauda ends up running the show with Wolfe as apprentice.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      They say there’s always two Siths.
      The emperor and his apprentice..

  66. Irish con says:

    To me losing Ross brawn is as big a low to merc as getting Lewis was good. I don’t think they realise that he should be the most important man there. Don’t see them winning anything without Ross. And it’s not like Ross is an old man yet. Got lots left in the tank. Ferrari would take him back in the morning.

  67. Methusalem says:

    –Could Lowe be allowed to consult, anyhow, Mercedes in 2013?

    –Could Ross Brawn join McLaren next year? McLaren & Brawn: very interesting!

  68. F1 for life says:

    Its quite strange, Mercedes have not admitted that Lowe is coming, but do feel he is a good commodity. If we look at Paddy Lowe’s history, he was one of the boffin’s to come up with the reliable active suspension set up at Williams, whilst Damon Hill was testing it out during 1991/1992 seasons. I have a strange feeling that Paddy may go back to Williams. As Williams want to go back to winning ways.

    I am also feeling that Mclaren, will suffer in terms of developments and their way of creating F1 cars as one team his headed by Lowe or Goss and vice versa a tag team per year. This is how Mclaren’s design philosophy has been.

    Look at this Years MP4- 28 compared to MP4-27, Mclaren admit they are struggling to understand this years racer due to new concepts. They should have followed the evolution format, and then dived the team to develop for 2014.

    1. F1 for life says:

      F1 cars as one team His, should be with is headed by……………

  69. F1 for life says:

    Who knows maybe, Mercedes will try and emulate a Mclaren design philosophy, as they were works team before they split up. Mercedes, know that success in they way they have carried from Brawn/ Honda days is a struggle. Rosss co Geoff Willis on one car and Lowe on the 2015 car etc…..

    James, what solid information do you have on Paddy Lowe going to Mercedes as it seems like a speculation, I just got in my mind that he may go to Williams…or even Ferrari.

    1. Elie says:

      Do you people not read articles the first line tells you it’s confirmed

      1. F1 for life says:

        I have read it, but until now Lauda has played down this maybe to keep everything under wraps. Initially contact was made for Lowe to go back to Williams, but Totto Wolf has gone to Mercedes. This Mercedes thing is getting intriguing, until Mercedes makes an official announcement, which will be near the end of Gardening Leave……….ref:
        please copy the link:

        http://www1.skysports.com/formula-1/news/12472/8524649/Niki-Lauda-says-he-cannot-confirm-reports-linking-Paddy-Lowe-with-Mercedes

        Gardening leave ref:

        http://www1.skysports.com/formula-1/news/12479/8524468/Damon-Hill-says-losing-Paddy-Lowe-to-Mercedes-will-be-gutting-for-McLaren

        Thanks

      2. F1 for life says:

        Mclaren are weaken now, as Paddy has an approach to make technical innovations to work. For example: the F duct in 2010, which then enabled DRS to come in, R&D and helped push on power steering, brake steer and a ramp-up of the team’s simulator facilities etc. This could affect Mclaren in the future, Mclaren would re-structure their design philosphy.

        Would Ross Brawn leave as this is not confirmed yet, and I believe this year is an acid test for the team to save Ross from leaving. Who knows Ross Brawn may go to Mclaren, this is my pure speculation. But I firmly believe Ross will remain with Lowe assisting and once Ross says goodbye to F1, then Lowe will take the roll full on.

  70. Jon Wilde says:

    Top move by Mr Wolf and Mr Lauda. Not only have the put in place a succession plan for life post Brawn, they have destabilised their biggest rival ahead of a huge regulation change. Credit to them.

    Mclaren represent the biggest threat to the existence of the Meredes F1 team, if Mercedes were a regular top 3 team alongside Ferrari and Red Bull, shareholders I am sure would be happy. As long as they are beaten by a customer team there will always be questions surrounding the on-going investment.

    This is the kind of forward thinking management logic I expected to see from Lauda, whilst it seems the origins of the plan to hire Lowe come from Totto, I’m sure Lauda pushed through the move.

    I expect a few other teams to make similar moves over the next few weeks and months with the objective of stalling competitor teams 2014 plans.

  71. Dane43 says:

    Paddy isn’t stupid he knows what’s about to come even though the doomsayers wish different.
    Remember what he said about Lewis in 09.

    “He’s tremendously good at controlling a car in oversteer. We saw that from the first moment he got in our car. We saw the data, and on every entry we could see there was a massive correction on the steering, and our normal drivers would have been bitching like hell that the car was undriveable, yet he didn’t even pass comment. So with a driver like that, you’re better equipped to push the boundaries to new levels. Speaking generically of that characteristic, a lot of the performance limit of a car is set by stability; if you can’t hang on to it, you will have to introduce understeer in that zone. But if you have a driver better able to deal with oversteer in those zones that induce it, then you will have a less-understeery car elsewhere and therefore more total grip over the lap. The great drivers over the years – Senna, Schumacher, Mansell – have all had that ability. Like for like compared to other drivers, they want more front end.”

  72. Pete says:

    Good lord, stop with the wild guessing.

  73. Tim says:

    I expect a few other teams to make similar moves over the next few weeks and months…

    I also have a similar expectation, in addition I expect the date for Christmas to remain unchanged from the 25th December :-)

  74. Ambivalent B says:

    It’s a pity that McLaren could not lure James Allison from Lotus. Would it be safe to assume that an approach was made, discussions ensued in the last 2-3 weeks since news broke about Lowe’s probable defection? Maybe,Gerard Lopez and Eric Boullier convinced Allison to stay put at Lotus.

    On a different note, why didn’t McLaren approach Pat Symonds? Or is that a no go since he is a consultant at Marussia and McLaren have a technical partnership with them?

    Lotus appear to be on a tight budget and with the Honeywell sponsorship still not visible, it remains to be seen how well they can develop this year’s car while working on the 2014 challenger.

    James, there have been comments from Jonathan Neale in the last couple of days about Lowe being offered ‘telephone number’ compensation at Mercedes. Since there were similar rumblings about Hamilton’s departure to Mercedes, are McLaren now operating at a significantly reduced budget? Is the lack of manufacturer support hurting McLaren?

    1. James Allen says:

      They have high overheads.

      Actually they said that they made a competitive financial offer to Hamilton. This statement about Paddy is different

      1. Ambivalent B says:

        James, I was referring to Ron Dennis’ statement sometime last year about Hamilton having to take a pay cut in light of the changed economic scenario since signing his last contract. Eventually, McLaren had to revise their financial offer to Hamilton upwards. This got me thinking that maybe, there are worries about a ballooning budget and no manufacturer backing them.

        IIRC, they have to pay for the Mercedes engines as well from this year. That’s a hit of $20 million or thereabouts??

    2. Tim says:

      I would have thought Pat Symonds would be a better fit at RBR :-)
      Perhaps there are concerns whether MW would be as compliant as Piquet jnr.

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