Paddy Lowe, who had been Executive Director (Technical) at Mercedes AMG Petronas, had been rumored to leave the team for a couple months with news spreading in Europe this morning it was due to become official soon.
On Tuesday, Mercedes confirmed Lowe’s departure from the team in a release.
Now on gardening leave, Lowe’s eventual next move may well be to Williams Martini Racing before the start of the 2017 Formula 1 season.
“I have had a fantastically successful and enjoyable three and a half years at Mercedes working with an incredible team of people,” Lowe said in a release.
“I am now looking forward to a new challenge and wish everyone well at Mercedes.”
“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,” said Mercedes-Benz Head of Motorsport Toto Wolff.
“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.”
While Mercedes noted the technical group will continue to feature Aldo Costa (Engineering Director), Mark Ellis (Performance Director), Rob Thomas (Chief Operating Officer) and Geoff Willis (Technology Director), rumors have circulated that James Allison, formerly of Ferrari, could be on his way to Brackley and Brixworth to take up a role there.
Mercedes, of course, is also due to confirm Nico Rosberg’s replacement in the driving lineup. A formal confirmation of Valtteri Bottas’ expected move from Williams is due to arrive later this month.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”