…chance doesn't exist; there's always a cause and a reason for everything – Elahi

Chatting with Paddy

It’s always a pleasure to sit down and talk motor racing with Patrick “Paddy” Lowe. We first met at Williams in about 1990 and I’ve been a fan ever since….ever since the day he pointed to the much-moaned-about cooling towers hard by the Williams Didcot factory and said, “I have a lot of respect for those towers. Did you know that they are a part of the most efficient coal-to-electricity station in England? I find them very inspiring…”  Anyone who is that grounded deserves to win F1 races, let alone run a major engineering team – and so it proved with Paddy. First that brilliant FW14B-Renault at Williams, then wins and championships at McLaren.  Now, if you please, he starts 2014 as the new Executive Director (Technical) of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team. We chatted recently between test days at Jerez.


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9 thoughts on “Chatting with Paddy

  1. Love the engine noise bit: power-less unit’s sound being “lost” around the circuit is a good PR word for silence.

  2. Paddy was always a good one with words!

  3. Nice interview. Listen to it twice. It is always fascinating to actually hear some of the other important race personnel and what they have to say. It would seem to me that Lowe is on board with the direction F1 is taking and I quite agree. Nothing stays still in F1, why would we assume the engine part of the formula would be immune. On a separate note I just finished watching 9 Days In Summer and although this is not the year in which you chronicled for your readers, it was a great way to put moving pictures to the story that you so eloquently wrote for us last year. 🙂

  4. Peter, I’m wondering about two issues related to Paddy Lowe, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. First, given Lewis’ breaking style and past mention of running of a stiffer and more aggressive set-up, is there any thought tha this new break-by-wire system will be a net advantage (certainly relative to those who roll into corners more)?
    Second, do you think that having Paddy on board from they start will help Lewis in that he knows what kind of car Lewis likes, and can help Lewis help the team develop? I’m intrigued by this combination of regs, team & driver. My pick for the championship.

  5. Lewis is much happier with the feel of the brakes on the 2014 car. Also, Paddy is a great “people person” so I think he’ll get the best from both Nico and Lewis. What then? “That’ll be a nice problem to have!” he (Paddy) said to be in Bahrain when we were chatting about the possible in-fighting…

  6. Many thanks, J-P. Nine Days in Summer is a 35mm classic, although personally I always thought it a bit strange that it features Graham more than Jim. Why is this? Incredibly, because Graham was in many ways more of a Ford driver. Jim was too but Walter Hayes had to tell Jim in early 67 that Ford were actually paying Graham more and that they would therefore like to give Jim a pay rise! I love that scene near the end where Jim, the morning after winning at the Glen, kicks away a stone with his foot and climbs into the Ford Fairlane.

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