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HomeNewsMercedes responds to Formula 1 crisis with personnel re-shuffle.

Mercedes responds to Formula 1 crisis with personnel re-shuffle.


Mercedes is reacting to its sporting situation in Formula 1 and the lack of success: After three races in the 2023 season, James Allison and Mike Elliott, two senior technicians in the Mercedes team, are swapping positions.

Elliott, who has previously worked as Technical Director, is taking over the role of Technical Director with immediate effect, which Allison previously held – and only took over a little over a year and a half ago.

Incidentally, the exchange of positions was suggested by Elliott, as Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff explains in an exclusive interview with the global edition of “Motorsport.com”: “Mike has come to the conclusion that his approach and his skills are best used when by further developing the team and creating structures that can be sustainably successful for years to come.”

What tasks now await Mike Elliott

At this point, Wolff refers to the coming Formula 1 era from 2026 under the then new drive regulations and to current technological developments, explicitly mentioning artificial intelligence and machine learning as two important topics of the future. “It’s also about the question of how a modern Formula 1 team has to be structured, which innovations can be introduced.”

“Mike sees himself in his element here,” says Wolff. “He’s an incredibly capable engineer, very dependable and respected by the entire team. Mike can therefore be a mentor and sparring partner for most senior executives.”

“And I’m really glad that Mike made that decision himself and that he and James came to this conclusion together so we can continue to leverage their talents,” said Wolff.

James Allison as Technical Director again, as he was until 2021

Elliott with his “brilliant scientific thinking” is now taking on the overarching role in the technical area at Mercedes. Allison, in turn, is returning to the position of Technical Director, which he held from 2017 to 2021 and left at his own request. He is now again intensively involved in the day-to-day activities of the Formula 1 racing team.

Wolff had recently denied that. When asked whether Allison would play a more active role again due to the difficult start to the season with the Mercedes W14, Wolff explained that Allison was “actually not involved” in the current Formula 1 project because he was familiar with the “long-term strategy” of the teams. This has changed now.

The working hours of the overall technical manager at Mercedes are also new: Allison previously worked for Mercedes three days a week, Elliott is filling the role full-time. And alongside his role as Technical Director, Allison is expected to continue to carry out his duties on Mercedes partner Ineos’ sailing project.

No new direction of development under James Allison

Above all, however, Allison should accelerate the Formula 1 program. “According to Mike’s assessment, with James we have a gladiator in the field who the troops follow into the fire,” says Wolff.

With Allison as head of technology, a change in the direction of development at Mercedes is not to be expected: “We are now on a path that we think is the right one,” says Wolff. “We just have different people (in the positions) and a different management structure now.”

Further personnel changes at Mercedes

In fact, there are other changes at Mercedes: chief designer John Owen is relieved, his previous tasks are divided between two shoulders.

Wolff explains: “John Owen had a completely different job profile under the budget ceiling, in addition to the creative tasks with the design of the car. There are tons of other topics. And the chief designer practically became a cost-cap administrator.”

Owen remains chief designer in the new Mercedes structure. “We are now putting him (his deputy) Giacomo Tortora at his side as head of engineering,” says Wolff. “This allows John to better focus on car design while Giacomo takes care of the design office and organizational development.”

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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