Paddy Lowe steps down as CTO of Williams F1
Williams F1 has announced that Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe will leave his role with the team, effective immediately. Lowe has been on personal leave since before the start of the 2019 season, with his last appearance being at pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Lowe, who previously served as technical chief at both McLaren and Mercedes, officially took over the CTO role at Williams in 2017. He led the redesign of the 2018/19 cars, which saw Williams finishing last in the 2018 constructors’ championship and yet to score any points this season. In his absence, Williams has been relying on their head aerodynamicist Doug McKiernan and the consultancy of former technical chief Patrick Head. Lowe had this to say:
“After a period of careful reflection, I have reached the decision that I will not return to work at Williams. I wish all my previous colleagues the very best to meet the challenges ahead, which I am sure they will do. I would especially like to thank the Williams fans who are so supportive.”
Lando Norris wants a new deal with McLaren for 2020
Amidst chatter of Fernando Alonso returning or not returning to McLaren for 2020, it appears that Lando Norris is taking measures to ensure his future with the team. Norris, who has a multi-year agreement with McLaren and is being paid $500,000 this year, is allegedly renegotiating an increased to $3 million for a longer-term deal. Norris revealed this:
“I am happy here at McLaren. I know everyone and the plan they have for the next few years, it is all looking a lot more positive, and changes have been made for the better. I am happy. I am not saying I wouldn’t enjoy it as much in other teams, but it is nice and relaxed, and I have a good teammate.”
Toto Wolff is ‘very optimistic’ that Esteban Ocon will secure an F1 seat for 2020
The rumor mills have been spinning for almost a year now regarding Esteban Ocon’s future with Formula One. The Mercedes-backed Frenchman who raced with Force India – now Racing Point – lost his seat to Lance Stroll last year. Since then, Ocon has been acting as the official reserve and test driver for Mercedes, after allegedly losing his spot at Renault to Daniel Ricciardo.
One possibility for Ocon is that he could inherit Nico Hulkenberg’s seat for 2020 at the French manufacturer. Hulkenberg, who holds the unsavory record of starting the most F1 races without ever gaining a podium, is out of contract as of the end of this year. Wolff had this to say:
“We are looking at all options. Esteban is a hot topic because he’s clearly one of the most promising young drivers and he deserves to be in Formula One, and we can see that with the interest that he generates. I am very optimistic that we will see him in a Formula One car next year.”
It’s worth it to mention that none of the parties involved have confirmed any of these movements.
Ross Brawn looks forward to shaping F1 future with Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has been very critical of the shape of Formula One and has even attended a meeting earlier this June to discuss the 2021 regulation overhaul that has been postponed until October. Just recently, after winning at the French Grand Prix, Hamilton was once again very vocal about his displeasure at the rulemaking process. F1 boss Ross Brawn had this to say:
“I’m happy Lewis has confirmed his willingness to make his own contribution in the coming months, and we can’t wait to work with him, particularly in each of the three meetings now scheduled. We know well that Formula 1 needs to make an important change in direction if it wants to maintain its position as one of the most followed sporting spectacles in the world. It will be great to have an input directly from the drivers.”
Christian Horner ‘frustrated’ with Pierre Gasly’s performance at French GP
Pierre Gasly had a pretty tough weekend in the south of France starting 9th on the grid. Not only did qualifying fall flat for the French man at his home Grand Prix, but his in-race performance on Sunday also left much to be desired. In the end, Gasly finished just in the points at P10 but only after Daniel Ricciardo received post-race penalties.
“It’s frustrating not to have that car in the points,” Christian Horner said of his young driver before Ricciardo’s penalty was made public. “I’m sure we’ll have a good look at that with him.”