Mercedes and McLaren agree early release for Lowe

Leave a comment

Former McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe will make an early start for his new team Mercedes after a deal was struck between the two teams.

Lowe will begin work for Mercedes on June 3rd after McLaren agreed to allow Lowe to join them before his contract expired at the end of the year.

McLaren are Mercedes engine customers but recently announced a deal to switch to Honda power from 2015.

“I am excited to become part of a highly talented and capable technical organisation,” said Lowe. “I have worked closely with Mercedes-Benz for almost 20 years and deeply admire the company’s phenomenal commitment to Formula One.”

“I look forward to much success together in the years ahead.”

Lowe will take on the role of executive director (technical) at a team which already has an enviable roster of technical talent. They include engineering director Bob Bell (ex-Renault), technology director Geoff Willis (ex-Honda) and engineering director Aldo Costa (ex-Ferrari).

Team principal Ross Brawn said his new hire “would be an asset to any of our rivals in the pit lane”.

Brawn added Lowe will be concentrating on the development of the W05 and future cars that will be built to the new engine regulations from next year.

“To deliver in these circumstances, a successful team needs strength in depth. Paddy’s arrival will further strengthen our organisation and puts us in a strong position for the future,” said Brawn.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
Leave a comment

Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”