McLaren's Jonathan Neale says Paddy Lowe was made an offer he could not refuse

Former Technical Director expected to join Mercedes in 2014

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 27/02/13 9:46am

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McLaren Managing Director Jonathan Neale has blamed a "telephone number salary" for Paddy Lowe's decision to quit the team.

The former Technical Director is expected to join Mercedes in 2014, having been placed on gardening leave by the Woking-based squad.

Neale says he first learnt of the 50-year-old's intention to move to the Silver Arrows around eight weeks ago and feels Mercedes simply made Lowe an offer he could not refuse.

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"In the market place at the moment, if you've a team and you want to go out and buy some short-term know-how then you can pay telephone number salaries, if that's what your business model is," Neale said.

"From time to time we have all done it. It's not unique to any one particular team.

"But we will certainly miss Paddy, he has been with us a long period of time. He's been here 19 years, and I've personally worked with him for 12.

"He is a great guy and on a personal level I'm sorry to see him go and do something else."

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