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Paddy Lowe joins Williams F1 as chief technical officer

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Williams Martini Racing has confirmed the arrival of ex-Mercedes man Paddy Lowe in the role of chief technical officer ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season.

Lowe announced in January that he would be leaving Mercedes after three-and-a-half years heading up its technical interests, running the team alongside fellow executive director Toto Wolff.

Lowe had been expected to return to Williams – the team he started his F1 career with back in 1987 – and was formally announced by the team on Thursday, 10 days before the first race of the season.

“Paddy will join Williams today, 16 March, and will take overall management responsibility for the engineering operation at Grove,” Williams confirmed.

“Paddy will also join the company’s Board of Directors and take a shareholding in the company, underlining his passion and commitment to working with Claire Williams and Mike O’Driscoll to drive the Williams Group forward.”

“I‘ve always had a deep respect for Williams – my first team in Formula One. It is a huge honor to return in this leadership position and to have the opportunity to become a shareholder,” Lowe said.

“I am extremely motivated to play my part in bringing success back to the team. The vision for the future set out by the Williams Board is powerful and has compelled me to join an organization committed to building on its unique legacy and to reaching the pinnacle of Formula 1 once again.

“I’m looking forward to this exciting new phase to my career working with Claire, Mike and Nick and with the rest of this great team – especially Frank [Williams] himself, who is one of the most committed ‘racers’ I know!”

“I am delighted that the team is welcoming Paddy back to Williams in the role of Chief Technical Officer,” deputy team chief Claire Williams added.

“Having someone of Paddy’s calibre and engineering competence is not only a morale boost for everyone at Williams, but I know it will also significantly support our efforts to return this team back to the front of the grid.

“Our ambitions at Williams are unwavering, we want to win races and championships, but to do that you need the best talent in the business. In Paddy we believe we have just that as well as a leader who will drive change.

“This is a game changer for us and once again makes us extremely excited about this team’s future.”

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”