Paddy Lowe says he is experiencing a “different kind of stress” with Williams fighting in Formula 1’s midfield compared to Mercedes, where he won three straight championship doubles from 2014 to 2016.
Lowe left his position as Mercedes’ technical boss in January before joining Williams, who he first worked for in F1, in March, taking up a senior management position and a share in the team.
Lowe was asked in Friday’s FIA press conference whether he felt more relaxed for taking up a new challenge in F1, no longer embroiled in a title fight but instead focusing on building an operation up to be at the front of the pack.
“People have said that I look more relaxed the last few months. I don’t know why that is,” Lowe said.
“When you are at the very front of the grid there is an expectation that you should win every race and if you miss a single one then people are asking questions and consider it to be a disaster then, of course, that does bring a certain level of pressure, I have to say!
“But I think I handle pressure pretty well, so it wasn’t a problem to me. I think the pressure for me in my new job is very different, but it’s still very present.
“We have a lot of work to do. It will be a long road; we take one step at a time to try to move ourselves forward. It’s a different kind of stress and maybe it appears differently on my face.
“But I’m enjoying it whatever. I always enjoy this job, in whatever context.”
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.