Jenson Button says Paddy Lowe's departure will not derail their title challenge
"Team will succeed with or without Paddy" insists 2009 World Champ
By William Esler
Last Updated: 27/02/13 12:12pm
Lowe is expected to join Mercedes in 2014 after being offered what McLaren's Jonathan Neale referred to as a "telephone number salary," and the team have confirmed Tim Goss will take over as Technical Director with immediate effect.
Last season Button said Lowe was, "the guy who's going to help me achieve in the future." However, speaking in the wake of confirmation that Lowe will be departing the Woking outfit at the end of the year, the 2009 World Champion says he is sure McLaren have enough strength in depth to deal with the 50-year-old's departure.
"I really like Paddy," said Button.
"It's been good fun working with him over the past three years, not just in a working relationship but also as a friend because he is a good guy, a fun character.
"But things change, he wants to try something new, a new challenge, which is fair play to him. He has to think about number one, so good luck to him.
"For us, will it make a massive difference? For me, having Tim in the position he is now in - fantastic. He was exceptional in his previous role and I think he will be in this role.
"He is the guy who designed the 2012 car that won seven races last year, so he knows exactly what he is doing."
The 33-year-old stressed McLaren are bigger than any individual and says the opportunity to work with Lowe was not the reason he joined the team in 2010.
"When I came to this team it wasn't about one individual. I didn't come here because Paddy was here, I didn't come here because Lewis (Hamilton) was here.
"I came here because this is McLaren, with its heritage and history - a word we always use, but it is the truth - and its strength in depth.
"It's not about one individual, it's about the full team, and Paddy leaving is part of the sport, people move around and go to different places.
"But this team will succeed with or without Paddy in the future."