Mercedes yet to finalise Paddy Lowe role for 2014
|By Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, March 20th 2013, 11:40 GMT|
Mercedes insists that it has not yet finalised the role that Paddy Lowe will take when he arrives at the team next year.
Lowe is currently serving out the remainder of his contract at McLaren but, once that runs out later this year, he will move to Mercedes.
Although the long-term plan is for Lowe to move into a senior management position at Mercedes alongside its motorsport boss Toto Wolff, that scenario depends on current team principal Ross Brawn moving aside.
It is understood that Brawn's future situation remains fluid, and that he has not yet made a decision on whether he wants to continue beyond the end of this year or not.
A final call on Brawn's situation is also hugely dependent on the pace of this year's W04 car, with it more than likely he will remain on board if Mercedes delivers on its early season progress.
The uncertain situation means Mercedes cannot yet finalise its plans for Lowe, which is why for now it remains focused on a future with Brawn.
Speaking about the situation in Australia, Wolff said: "Obviously the situation is not perfect, but we have discussed it.
"We've said that Ross is the team principal, he is running the race team and this how it is going to stay.
"We haven't even started the 2013 season so I think we feel right working together and we have a good spirit internally. Paddy Lowe coming or not is just so far ahead that it makes no sense to talk about it now."
While McLaren has already openly stated that Lowe is leaving to join Mercedes, the latter outfit is still not ready to confirm his appointment.
When asked if he could at least admit Lowe had been signed, Wolff said: "I think it is too early to say he is coming. This is a complex process.
"It is not just you hire somebody and off they go. There are discussions ongoing. Paddy is a good guy and we both know it is about fitting somebody in in the organisation, so it is not yet done."
Brawn said earlier in the week that thoughts about his long-term future plans were not a priority for him ahead of the start of a new season.
"We are focused on the next 12 months - on the car we have now and the 2014 car," he said.
"Paddy is serving his notice at McLaren and when that notice is served it will then be a point of discussion.
"We are fully focused on the 2013 car which is under Aldo [Costa]. The 2014 car is under Geoff [Willis] and that is our other major priority right now."