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LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Technical head Paddy Lowe is leaving Formula One world champions Mercedes and has started a period of 'gardening leave', the team said in a statement on Tuesday.
Sources have indicated he is set to join rivals Williams in a deal likely to ease a move in the other direction for that team's Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas as replacement for retired world champion Nico Rosberg.
Lowe, who has helped Mercedes win three successive constructors' titles, started his F1 career at former champions Williams in 1987 and spent six years there before moving to McLaren.
The 54-year-old Briton joined Mercedes in 2013. Rosberg retired unexpectedly in December five days after winning the title. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by...)