Paddy Lowe, the Chief Executive Director for all things technical has confirmed that he is leaving Mercedes and heading for new challenges with the Williams F1 Team, the team he started his career in Formula One with. Lowe will serve a period of 'Gardening leave' before he is expected to join the Grove outfit for later on in 2017, replacing the outgoing Pat Symonds, which ideally opens the door for James Allison to join Mercedes as the replacement for Paddy, as has been strongly rumoured. In a statement, Lowe mentioned that, "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." Widely recognised as one of the best senior engineers in the sport, and despite his relatively short stature, Lowe will leave huge shoes to fill for whomever the incoming replacement is. Toto Wolff, the other Executive Director at Mercedes paid tribute to his departing colleague, "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." Wolff's final sentence there indicates that they are intending on promoting from within - presumably Aldo Costa - rather than hiring from outside sources. And whilst this may be true for the short term, surely the lure of James Allison is highly enticing once his period of gardening leave from Ferrari is over. Lowe leaves Mercedes after three years of dominance including three Constructors Championships, three Drivers Championships and 51 Grand Prix victories, for a team that has not won a Grand Prix since Pastor Maldonado's shock victory at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.