ROKiT Williams Racing has confirmed that Paddy Lowe has left the F1 team after his extended leave of absence since pre-season.
Just before the start of the 2019 F1 season with the Australian GP, Williams dropped a bombshell that its Technical Director and a shareholder of the team, Lowe, has been granted a ‘leave of absence’ from the team for personal reasons.
Since then, Lowe hasn’t traveled with the F1 team for any of the eight races. Williams roped in co-founder Patrick Head as a consultant to help them move forward amid a disastrous run where it is yet to score a point and is far away from the midfield fight too.
It certainly looked like Lowe wouldn’t feature in the larger scheme of things but his leave was complicated as he is a shareholder of the outfit too. However, as we head into the Austrian GP weekend, Williams confirmed his exit from the whole structure.
“After a period of careful reflection I have reached the decision that I will not return to work at Williams,” said Lowe. “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.” Team principal Claire Williams added: “We understand and respect the decision Paddy has reached and wish him well for the future.”
Ever since Lowe moved from Mercedes to Williams, it has been a tough ride for the Brit which started to show in 2017 and continued on in 2018 and also 2019 when the team missed days in pre-season testing. The car only got worse which made even more tough.
As said before, once his leave of absence was announced on March 5, it was more or less certain that he will not return. The team though is moving ahead and speaking on Head’s work, Williams said: “It hasn’t really changed from when he first started.
“As everybody knows, we asked him to come on board after Paddy’s leave of absence. He is literally a consultant for the team. He comes in one or two days a week. If he can’t do that, he dials in and he joins the technical management team in their meetings and is literally just acting as a guide, as a sounding board and really helping everybody out. So it’s really nice to have him back around the place.”