Ferrari rejected proposal to hire Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne says the Italian team rejected a proposal to hire Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe, as the Briton looks set to step down from his position at the championship-winning outfit.

Lowe has been instrumental in Mercedes' recent success, but it's believed he is looking to switch teams as Mercedes have reportedly hired ex-Ferrari man James Allison to take up a similar role.

With Lowe on the market, Marchionne revealed to Italian publication La Reppublica that they turned down hiring him.

"We had a proposal [from Lowe], but the role was already covered," he said during a media Christmas lunch this week.

"We are not looking for a Ross Brawn-like saviour who can solve all the problems," he added. "Together, we can pull through by working the right way.

"I don’t want to be constantly changing the team."

It's expected Lowe will now replace Pat Symonds at Williams and could even take a shareholding in the team.

Marchionne meanwhile believes Ferrari has the right people in place to improve, but has stopped short of promising big things in 2017 – something which backfired this year when he promised the team would challenge for wins, when in fact they failed to win a single race.

"Now I only want us to do better than in 2016, which doesn't seem too hard to me," he said.

"Should we continue not to win, then the blame lies at my feet. I’ve already told Ferrari fans who approach me on the street and complain about our win drought: 'that’s my mistake, wait for 2017'.

"I am confident about the new car, confident that we have taken action and done a good job in all areas, starting with the aerodynamics."