Apr.12 (GMM) Toto Wolff, Mercedes' new director and shareholder, has given the strongest indication yet that Paddy Lowe will soon arrive at the team.
It is believed Lowe will eventually replace Brackley based Mercedes' existing team boss, Ross Brawn.
"Based on last year's results, Niki (Lauda) asked Paddy if he wanted to work for us," Austrian Wolff told the German newspaper Die Welt on Saturday.
"Ross responded totally professionally and said 'For three years I have not brought the results that were expected. Therefore it is clear that you would look around for a successor'," added Wolff.
But while Lowe has already been removed from front-line duty by McLaren, Brawn - still one of the most respected engineering and management minds in F1 - remains at the helm despite his apparently impending departure.
Wolff responded: "This is a very professional environment, with contracts containing confidentiality clauses.
"I do not believe that men of the calibre of Ross Brawn or Paddy Lowe go to their next team and just tell everything to the competition.
"I don't think we need to worry about that," he added.