Technical head Paddy Lowe could follow Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg out of dominant Mercedes, according to a report on Sunday. Lowe may be poised to join rivals Williams, Motorsport.com said.
The website cited multiple sources "with good knowledge of the situation" as indicating that Lowe, who has helped Mercedes to win three successive constructors' titles, was set to join Williams.
Mercedes, who were rocked by Rosberg's retirement announcement only five days after he won the title at the end of last month in Abu Dhabi, had no immediate comment.
There was also no response from Williams, who use Mercedes engines and whose Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas has become the bookmakers' favorite to replace Rosberg next season.
Lowe started his F1 career with former world champions Williams in 1987, and spent six years there. The team finished fifth overall this year.
Williams current technical head Pat Symonds is 63 and told Reuters in a recent interview that he would still be at the team next year, while also indicating that he was looking to reduce his workload.
Lowe's contract at Mercedes is due to expire at the end of the year, according to reports in Britain and Germany, and the 53-year-old's future has been the subject of considerable speculation.
Lowe is one of three top managers running Mercedes -- the others being shareholders Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda, who is the non-executive chairman.
Bottas first choice?
Were Lowe to go, Mercedes are expected to sign former Lotus and Ferrari technical head James Allison.
Separately, the BBC reported that Williams driver Valtteri Bottas is Mercedes' first choice to replace Rosberg as Lewis Hamilton's team mate.
Williams had rejected an initial offer to release Finn Bottas from his 2017 contract, they added. They did not identify the source of their information.