F1 » 4 July 2013
Lowe: ‘Too many cooks’ seem to have Mercedes on boil
Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff both insist that Mercedes' management structure can bring benefits for this season and next.
New Mercedes recruit Paddy Lowe has played down suggestions that the team's top-heavy management structure has the potential to harm it chances of success.
The former McLaren technical director was given early permission to take up his new role, as executive director (technical), at Brackley, but insists that the team is already showing that its behind-the-scenes set-up is working nicely.
"People think there are too many technical directors at Mercedes, but it does seem to be working for them," he told the official F1 website, "I think they've made fantastic progress over the last twelve months - so what's wrong with that? Actually, it's not as though there are a whole bunch of 'cooks' trying to do the same job. There is just a huge amount of work you have to do in this business if you want to be successful.”
Speculation that Lowe was Brackley-bound, which came on the heels of the appointment of both Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda to the board of directors, naturally cast doubt over the viability of retaining other members of the technical team, particularly team principal Ross Brawn, who was seen as the most likely fall guy in any reshuffle. Lowe, however, insists that there is no need for the team to beginning culling staff.
“I've not come in to displace [technical director] Bob [Bell], [engineering director] Aldo [Costa] or [technology director] Geoff [Willis], who are all doing fantastic work,” he said, “There is absolutely no intention or need to displace what they do. I've definitely come in at a higher level to work with [executive director] Toto [Wolff] and Ross around the strategy of the business.”
"Even though we have a very wide and deep range of senior people at Mercedes, we're all gainfully employed and we all respect each other's talents, play to our strengths and work together. There has been a very good division of effort between the different players and I'm fitting into that.
"You need that strength in depth to put the attention on all the different things. I would almost say that other teams are weak in that respect, rather than it being an anomaly of Mercedes. There's certainly no need for revolution - it's a great team and they're working really well together.
"Ross is team principal at the moment. We don't know how long he will want to remain as team principal - those plans aren't made. I've come in to strengthen the team in its existing form, which I can do. There's a great deal to be done and I've already started to augment what we've got. What the future brings in terms of progression from there remains to be seen - it isn't set or defined at the moment."
Wolff, also speaking to the same source, confirmed that Lowe's early arrival will pay dividends as Mercedes gears up for the wide-ranging change of regulations next season.
“We are moving towards a completely different environment with the 2014 regulations, and having lots of intelligent people helps us to concentrate on the 2013 activities and have a firm eye on 2014,” he noted, “Paddy is analysing the situation at the moment. He works for Ross and he is fitting in perfectly.
“The actual running of the team is divided between Ross and myself - between the engineering side and the commercial side - and this functions very well. Niki is the chairman of the board, he is a valuable advisor, but his is more of a mentoring role, a strategic advisory role. He is not in the office every day. Paddy is fitting in very well. I think we should all not forget our core skills and competencies - a screwdriver in my hand would do more damage than good to the car and I am not sure that Paddy is so keen on having to make a sponsorship pitch...."
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