Mercedes and McLaren agree early release for Lowe

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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.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”