F1: 'Newey of Mercedes’ to Return as Technical Director of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team

James Allison will once again serve as the technical director of the Mercedes Formula One team. He formerly served as Mercedes' technical director until moving to the newly established role of the chief technical officer in 2021.

By Divyam Dubey | on April 24, 2023 Follow us on Autox Google News

James Allison and Mike Elliott, two major individuals on the Mercedes Formula 1 team's technical staff, have switched positions. With the goal of helping the team go back to the top of the F1 grid, they are making a number of personnel changes, including promoting Allison to the technical director and promoting Elliott to the chief technical officer. This drastic decision occurs 20 months after Allison was appointed CTO and is the result of Elliott's realisation that his skillset is not well-suited to the role of technical director. After considerable introspection after a rough start to the 2023 campaign, Elliott and Allison came to the conclusion that switching positions would benefit the team. Red Bull Racing has been the dominant team in Formula 1 since 2022. Max Verstappen and Red Bull were crowned world champions in 2022 thanks to Adrian Newey and his team's superior grasp of the new rules.

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Over the last 18 months, Allison has been responsible for Formula One while still fulfilling his CTO duties, which include technical oversight of the whole Mercedes organisation and events like America's Cup. After working with Allison at Lotus, Elliott was a natural choice to take over as his successor, and he has since risen through the ranks at Mercedes to become the company's technical director.

Despite his high standing at Mercedes, Elliott oversaw the development of the brand's two weakest F1 cars during the V6 turbo-hybrid era. Elliott passionately supported the team's unique, minimalist sidepod design despite their early difficulties with the new ground effect technical regulations in 2022.

After qualifying for the first race of the 2023 season in Bahrain, Mercedes team head Toto Wolff said they had made a mistake by sticking with their initial design despite falling well behind Red Bull. There was no implication that Elliott would be relocated at the time.

Autosport stated during the penultimate week of Formula One's lengthy April calendar break that Allison will have a more hands-on role again after replacing Elliott as technical director. Wolff has acknowledged the job switch and said that Elliott instigated it, although Mercedes is yet to confirm the move.

Wolff claims that Elliott believed Allison was more qualified for a specific vehicle project, while he could handle the broader duties of the CTO post. Mercedes told the BBC that Elliott oversaw a review of their technical organisation to make sure they had set themselves up for long-term success.

The "engineering director" role, formerly held by Giacomo Tortora, has been restored, signalling yet another shift in Tortora's duties as part of Mercedes' design team. During the time of the financial restrictions, head designer John Owen took on a number of administrative responsibilities.

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Mercedes' current development path, which will influence updates to the vehicle that are slated to come in the next month or two, will not be altered as a result of these adjustments.

Tags: Mercedes Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team James Allison F1

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