The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team has announced a re-structuring of its technical department – perhaps the most notable involving current Technical Director James Allison moving into a new role which involves stepping away from his day-to-day responsibilities working in the team.
Having been at the team since 2017, Allison will become Mercedes’s chief technical officer from the first of July and will no longer be involved in strategic calls and planning both during and outside a Grand Prix weekend.
As a result of Allison moving to his new role, Mike Elliot who is currently technology director, will step up to the role of technical director. Elliot has been at the team based in Brackley since 2012 joining initially as head of aerodynamics before moving into his current position at Mercedes in their last major re-structuring, which took place in 2017. The German team has been quick to point out that these changes come as a result of preparation for the 2022 regulation changes rather than anything performance related.
Toto Wolff, the Team Principal of Mercedes, acknowledges the great work that Allison has put in for the team, being a huge reason for Mercedes’s dominance over the past few years, Wolff acknowledges the enthusiasm shown by Allison at all times and this combined with his expertise and work ethic makes an exceptional asset for the team.
The team have all known that Allison’s tenure as Technical Director will be coming to an end this year, but the Austrian team principal is delighted that a role has been created in order to ensure that Allison remains an active member of Mercedes and Wolff believes that there is still a lot to be achieved with Allison at the team.
“Since joining Mercedes in 2017, James has been an exceptional technical leader for our team, and he has made an enormous contribution to our performance: he combines huge passion and determination with detailed expertise and exceptional moral character.
“We have known for a while that his time as Technical Director would be coming to an end this year and I am delighted that we have been able to shape this new role to keep him within our motorsport family; he will be an important sparring partner for me in the next years and I know that we still have much to achieve together”
Wolff is also delighted to announce Allison’s successor in Elliot. Elliot has been a crucial member of the team since he joined in 2013 and the Austrian feels that the time is right for another step-up to be taken in his career, working alongside the already exceptional amount of talent that lies within the teams group of technical leaders puts the team in good stead for the future.
“I am delighted to announce Mike in his new role as Technical Director. We first met at the beginning of 2013 when I joined the team and have spent many hours talking about the team and its evolution since then. Mike has developed from our Head of Aerodynamics to now being ready to take the step up to become Technical Director. Together with an exceptional group of senior technical leaders, this puts us in the best possible position for the sport’s next era.”
Allison firmly believes that there is only a certain amount of time that anyone can remain in a senior role at a Formula 1 team and feels that this has expired for him as he feels like the timing is right for both the team and himself.
He has enjoyed his time as technical director and it has been a joy to lead the team at such a successful time in its history. Allison is very pleased with his successor who he believes will put the team in an incredibly strong position going forward. Going forward, Allison will be supporting Wolff in his new role as CTO with a main focus of increasing the teams capability in every area.
“I firmly believe that people have a shelf life in senior roles in this sport, and I have chosen to step away from my role as Technical Director in order to pass on the baton at the right time for the organisation and myself.”
“I have enjoyed four and a half wonderful years as Technical Director, and it has been a special privilege to lead the technical effort of the team in that time. It is a great pleasure to be succeeded by Mike, an exceptional engineer in a tremendously strong group of senior leaders in the team. We will benefit from the freshness that he will bring to the role – and I hope I can continue to make a useful contribution across a new sphere of activity in my role as CTO, with a focus on increasing our capability across the board and supporting Toto with the major strategic challenges we face in the near future.”
Elliot, who has previously worked under him before working again with him at Mercedes, acknowledges that he has some big shoes to fill replacing someone with a CV like Allison. The Briton is also delighted that Allison’s expertise will remain at the team as he progresses into his new role as CTO.
“It has been a great pleasure and privilege to work for James earlier in my career at Renault, and for the past four years at Mercedes. His track record in the sport speaks for itself, and he has been a fantastic team-mate and leader for me during that time. They are big shoes to fill and I am delighted that we will be able to call on his expertise in his new role as CTO.”
From a personal point of view Elliot feels that it is an amazing opportunity to become Technical Director of a team like Mercedes – who have dominated the sport since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014. Elliot can’t wait to get excited and believes that there will be lots more success to come for the team down to the strength of leadership that Mercedes boast.
“On a personal level, it is an amazing opportunity to become Technical Director of a team like Mercedes, and I must thank Toto and our company for trusting me to make the step up to this new role. It is an incredible privilege to be part of this team and I know that the leadership strength at every level through the company will be vital to our future success. I can’t wait to get started and to tackle the many exciting technical challenges ahead of us in the next months and years.”