Mercedes AMG must really be cursing out Nico Rosberg right now. Seriously, I would not be surprised if all the dart boards at Mercedes HQ were replaced with pictures of Nico’s face. Not only did his retirement leave the obvious hole at driver, but now it would appear Mercedes is going to lose their technical director as well. The dominoes have been falling and now Mercedes is left with one driver option, Valtteri Bottas. Even with both seats filled, Williams isn’t letting the Finn leave for nothing. Williams is without a chief technical officer after the 2016 departure of Pat Symonds. Paddy Lowe who has filled that role for Mercedes is set to fill the vacancy at Williams. It is understood Lowe’s move to Williams is part of the deal to get Bottas driving for Mercedes. Mercedes even waived the Lowe’s notice period which will allow him to begin working for Williams immediately. Lowe’s departure does leave a rather large hole in Mercedes which seems to be running around plugging holes thanks to Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement.
“Paddy has played an important part in our success during the past three and a half years and we thank him for his contribution to this significant chapter in Mercedes’ motorsport history,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said. “Success in Formula 1 is not about single individuals but about the strength in-depth and technical capability of an organization. We have the talent in place to continue our success of recent years and we plan to build upon it in 2017 and beyond.”
At this time it is unclear who will replace Lowe at Mercedes. The favorite appears to be former Ferrari technical director James Allison. Allison is the highest profile technical director available after his departure from Ferrari last July. However Mercedes has hinted to promoting from within with Aldo Costa (Engineering Director), Mark Ellis (Performance Director), Rob Thomas (Chief Operating Officer) and Geoff Willis (Technology Director) all believed to be in consideration.
Unfortunately all of this, literally all of this hinges on when Mercedes finalizes a deal with Bottas. This should have been a done deal weeks ago, however given the complexity of Formula 1 on and off the track I wouldn’t be surprised if this thing dragged out even longer.