The last few days have seen a lot of confused reports about changes amongst the top engineering staff in Formula 1 – and it seems that no-one is quite sure what is happening.
From the outside this must seem rather odd, but the reality is that in the internet age things move so quickly that often the news in F1 has not fully happened before it is announced! Contracts may have been agreed, but they may not have been signed.
The leaks to the media are very often designed to torpedo what is happening, or simply to stir up trouble and destabilise the organisations involved, so one can read these as being part of the vicious F1 'Piranha Club' game.
For the media it is always hard to know the whys as well as the whats, and so the news comes out and everyone is left in a state of confusion.
The latest batch of confusing tales began when Toto Wolff, a Williams F1 shareholder, was appointed as the new head of Mercedes Motorsport. Wolff has long links with Mercedes and is deputy-chairman of HWA AG, which acts as a full service provider to Mercedes in the DTM and produces and services Mercedes Formula 3 racing engines.
This was followed almost immediately by reports that Wolff’s arrival would mean the departure of Mercedes F1 team boss Ross Brawn, and that McLaren’s technical director, Paddy Lowe, would be Brawn’s replacement.