Ex-Mercedes F1 chief Paddy Lowe starts work at Williams
|By Ben Anderson||Thursday, March 16th 2017, 08:56 GMT|
Paddy Lowe has officially joined the Williams Formula 1 team as its new chief technical officer, starting work at the team today (Thursday).
The former McLaren technical director had been widely tipped to return to Williams in a senior role, after splitting with Mercedes at the end of last season.
Lowe will replace Pat Symonds, who left Williams at the end of last season, and will also take a shareholding in the team, joining the board of directors alongside deputy team principal Claire Williams and Mike O'Driscoll.
Lowe said: "I've always had a deep respect for Williams - my first team in Formula 1.
"It is a huge honour to return in this leadership position and to have the opportunity to become a shareholder.
"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 organisation 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 [Rose, chair of the board of directors] and with the rest of this great team - especially Frank himself, who is one of the most committed 'racers' I know."
Lowe joined Mercedes in 2013, becoming its executive technical director and helping the team to a run of three consecutive drivers' and constructors' world championships.
His contract expired at the end of 2016, and having failed to agree fresh terms he has now returned to Williams for a second stint.
Lowe previously worked for Williams in the late 80s and early 90s, and played a key part in developing the active suspension system on the car Nigel Mansell used to win the 1992 world title.
Williams will hope to draw on Lowe's recent experience at F1's current top team to boost its bid to return to the front of the grid.
Claire Williams said: "I am delighted that the team is welcoming Paddy back to Williams in the role of chief technical officer.
"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."