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Changes at McLaren

NEWS STORY
27/01/2011

McLaren has revealed a number of changes within its technical department aimed at leading to "numerous long-term benefits".

Paddy Lowe graduates from his role as the team's engineering director to technical director. He will continue to lead the Woking outfit's technical strategy, but his new role will afford him even greater levels of focus as he will be spearheading new and innovative technical projects relating to the team's Formula 1 future. He will also continue to represent the technical aspect of the team within FOTA and with the FIA.

Lowe's broader remit means that Tim Goss, chief engineer on the MP4-25, will assume a larger role within the car development programme. As a result, he now becomes director of engineering.

Underpinning them both is Neil Oatley, a McLaren veteran who joined the team in 1986, and continues in his role as director of design and development programmes. Oatley will set and execute many of the team's top-level projects as well as bringing new projects and upgrades to the cars.

"It's great for Neil and me to be joined by Tim as another director on the technical side," said Lowe. "With the three of us, we'll not only be able to more efficiently spread our workload, but, through Tim & me, we'll also share race attendance.

"It's very important to have senior technical management at the racetrack, because that's where you score the points, but, equally, if you spend all your time away then you risk overlooking some of the hard work that happens back at the factory."

Goss's new role demonstrates the huge amount of trust and respect he has earned since joining the Woking team in 1990. It's also a reflection of the way his role has steadily broadened over the past 12 months.

"I used to be jointly responsible for the direction of our cars with Pat Fry," said Goss. "Now I've taken on both roles - but there's obviously been some shifting of responsibilities within the team as, clearly, I can't do the work of two people.

"As director of engineering, my role will be to co-ordinate a small team of project engineers who are responsible for the specification, design and development of our cars."

Between them, the three share a combined stint at McLaren totalling 62 years, and are said to be cut from the very fabric from which the team is made.

"The first project I did at McLaren was the power-braking system in 1993," Lowe recalls. "It was really exciting because we only had six races to invent it, deliver it and race it [before it was outlawed at the end of the season]. We developed it over three races, we raced it for three and won two of them - it was worth one second a lap. Very satisfying!

"Brake-steer, too. That was a great project. Steve Nichols came up with the initial idea, but I made it happen within the team, which was very rewarding. One second a lap just for having a very good idea. A great shame it was also later outlawed.

"I was also involved in the very beginnings of our simulator project. We initially didn't have a great deal of support, some people were initially unconvinced of its benefits, but through Martin Whitmarsh's support we developed it into a key performance tool."

Both are also particularly proud of all the diverse systems and processes that were brought together on 2005's MP4-20 - a race-winner that only just missed out on the world championship.

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