Team principal Martin Whitmarsh has insisted that it was the 'right thing to do' to release Paddy Lowe from his McLaren contract to allow the former technical director to join rivals Mercedes.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Lowe had been released from his McLaren deal ahead of schedule to take up a role with Mercedes on 3 June.

It brought to an end speculation about his future after it was revealed back in February that Lowe was to take up a fresh challenge for the 2014 season, with Tim Goss having already been installed as his replacement at Woking.

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Speaking in the latest Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in, Whitmarsh revealed that he hadn't felt it was right to prevent Lowe from taking up his new position and denied that the decision to let him leave early wasn't related in any way to the impending changes in the team's engine supply deal.

"Paddy has been a loyal servant here," he said. "We felt it was the right thing to release him, and I think there is nothing else we need to say on the matter.

"It's not related to the Honda deal. The Honda deal and the Mercedes deals had been done, so there was no pressure brought to bear. It was entirely our decision and we hope that it creates some goodwill. It seemed like the right thing to do.

"Paddy's a good guy. I think he's chosen a route and we didn't want to hold him back from that unnecessarily."