Mercedes confirms Lowe's departure
Mercedes has placed executive technical director Paddy Lowe on gardening leave ahead of him leaving the Formula 1 title-winning team.
The team did not name a replacement for Lowe, instead saying that in the short term, its technical structure will continue in its current form.
Lowe played a key role in helping Mercedes win three consecutive double F1 world championships, and negotiations with motorsport boss Toto Wolff about extending his stay were delayed until after the 2016 season.
Following talks, no deal could be reached, with Lowe most strongly linked to Williams, but it is understood that a deal has not yet been finalised and discussions are continuing.
Wolff said: "Paddy has played an important part in our success during the past three and a half years and we thank him for his contribution to this significant chapter in Mercedes' motorsport history.
"Success in Formula 1 is not about single individuals but about the strength in depth and technical capability of an organisation.
"We have the talent in place to continue our success of recent years and we plan to build upon it in 2017 and beyond."
Lowe added: "I have had a fantastically successful and enjoyable three and a half years at Mercedes working with an incredible team of people.
"I am now looking forward to a new challenge and wish everyone well at Mercedes."
In a statement, Mercedes said: "The company's board wishes Paddy well with his future endeavours and thanks him for his significant contribution to the team's achievements.
"In the short term, our stable technical organisation will continue to operate under the proven and established leadership of our senior directors Aldo Costa (engineering director), Mark Ellis (performance director), Rob Thomas (chief operating officer) and Geoff Willis (technology director)."
It added that further information on the team's plans will be "communicated in due course".
Ferrari technical director James Allison is expected to replace Lowe, once his period of gardening leave is over.