Paddy Lowe to take up top Williams Formula 1 role next month

Former Mercedes man Paddy Lowe will join the Williams Formula 1 team in its most senior technical position early next month, Autosport has learned

Paddy Lowe to take up top Williams Formula 1 role next month

Lowe, who departed Mercedes three weeks ago, had been expected to make an immediate switch to Williams, following the departure of chief technical officer Pat Symonds last December.

But contractual negotiations relating to the precise nature of Lowe's position, and his departure from Mercedes, delayed agreement over his appointment.

Autosport understands that Lowe, 54, will become a main board director, alongside deputy team principal Claire Williams, group CEO Mike O'Driscoll and non-executive chairman Nick Rose.

As a director, Lowe's position within Williams will be more senior than that of Symonds, as he is understood to have bought a stake in the team.

In terms of technical hierarchy he will be the team's most senior figure.

Lowe is tipped to start work on March 1, providing final details of his departure from Mercedes, relating to his freedom to work for another team, are concluded without delay.

Williams's successful hiring of Lowe marks a homecoming for the highly regarded technical chief, who started his F1 career with the team in 1987 as an electronics engineer.

He was responsible for leading the design of the active suspension systems that were a key aspect of the dominant performance of the 1992 FW14B - a world title winner for Williams and Nigel Mansell.

Latterly, Lowe has overseen the technical advantage enjoyed by Mercedes in F1 since 2014, as executive director (technical) of the Brackley-based team.

Mercedes has won the past three drivers' and constructors' titles, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, but relations between Lowe and Toto Wolff, fellow Mercedes executive director, became strained during 2016, resulting in Lowe's departure.

Autosport understands Lowe's role at Mercedes will be taken by James Allison, who split with Ferrari as technical director last August.

The imminent official announcement of Lowe's appointment at Williams is expected to clear the path for Mercedes to conclude its negotiations with Allison.

Lowe's hiring marks a major coup for Williams, as it has secured one of the most highly regarded technical leaders of the current generation.

Alongside Red Bull's Adrian Newey and Allison, Lowe is considered one of F1's 'superstar' designers whose abilities extend beyond a narrow technical remit.

He brings to Williams intimate experience from F1's most dominant race team, with knowledge of Mercedes' engineering capabilities, budgets and organisational structures.

In a further boost to its technical strength, Williams is expected shortly to announce the appointment of ex-Ferrari aerodynamicist Dirk de Beer in a senior role.

It is likely Lowe will seek to recruit further engineers from Mercedes as he undertakes a predicted technical restructure at his new team.

Williams has won nine constructors' titles, though its last came in 1997.

In recent seasons it enjoyed a considerable resurgence, finishing third in the 2014/15 constructors' tables.

Last season it slipped to fifth, behind Force India, losing a coveted position as F1's top independent team.

shares
comments
Formula 1 return not on Ford's radar

Previous article

Formula 1 return not on Ford's radar

Next article

Sirotkin's Renault role will 'not change' despite Vasseur's exit

Sirotkin's Renault role will 'not change' despite Vasseur's exit
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021