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SBD Global/January 11, 2017/Franchises

Mercedes F1 Exec Dir Paddy Lowe Leaving Team To Join Williams

Paddy Lowe has left his role as Mercedes exec director "to join Williams," according to SKY SPORTS. It is understood Lowe has been "allowed to leave without serving a notice period so he can join the Grove team, with Valtteri Bottas poised to move in the opposite direction to partner Lewis Hamilton." Mercedes declined to comment. Sky Sports' Craig Slater said, "Lowe's departure is a sign that Mercedes and Williams are ready to conclude several bits of business over the next couple of days. Lowe has left Williams without serving any of what would be multiple months of gardening leave and that's significant -- there must have been some kind of inducement from Mercedes to let him go early." Bottas has been in talks with Mercedes about replacing retired driver Nico Rosberg for the upcoming season, "with Felipe Massa set to come out of retirement to return to Williams." Mercedes, meanwhile, "could replace Lowe" with former Ferrari Technical Dir James Allison. The "highly-rated" Englishman left the Scuderia last July, with his gardening leave period thought to last for 12 months (SKY SPORTS, 1/10).
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