Aldo Costa, Mercedes, 2018

Mercedes plans changes to F1 technical team as Costa steps back

2018 F1 season

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Mercedes engineering director Aldo Costa, who has been a key figure in the team’s run of championship successes in Formula 1, will take a less active role in car development from next season.

Costa will step back to the role of technical advisor from the beginning of the 2019 F1 season. He notified the team of his intention to do so last year.

A further high-level change in the team’s technical structure will see performance director Mark Ellis retire from his position. Ellis, who rejoined the team from Red Bull in 2014, will go on sabbatical from the middle of next year.

Mercedes has enjoyed a sustained period of technical superiority in F1 and swept both world championships every season since 2014. The team announced it will respond to the moves by promoting from within.

Chief vehicle dynamicist Loic Serra will take over from Ellis as performance director ahead of next year. Chief designer John Owen has been promoted within the engineering group, which is led by technical director James Allison.

Team principal Toto Wolff said Mercedes will “hand the baton smoothly to the next generation of leaders inside the team.”

“We have been in discussion for many months with both Mark and Aldo about how best to implement this transition and to empower their successors. They could not be more different personalities but they have both respected that difference and their legacy with Mercedes will stand test of time,” he added.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “Mercedes plans changes to F1 technical team as Costa steps back”

  1. Abandon SHIP!!!!!!

  2. This is the beginning of the end. In 5 years time, Mercedes will be battling in the midfield, while a disillusioned Hamilton does Le Mans 24 hours and the Indy 500 out of sheer frustration at not being able to fight at the front in F1. /s

    1. @mashiat On a more serious note if they develop an awesome car for 2021 only for some September 2020 recession to make Mercedes pull out, I’d love to see what some quasi Wolff-Lauda GP would look like.

      Or maybe Brawn will decide to get involved once again.

      1. while this is a joke, please note that recessions have had devastating effects on livelihoods world over.

      2. @davidnotcoulthard Imagine if Lawrence Stroll bought it and Lance Stroll became World Champion. Oh, the horror…

        1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
          12th July 2018, 19:21

          @mashiat Liberty would sell the sport out of shame

      3. @davidnotcoulthard or maybe Honda will buy their old team back

        1. @strontium Red Bull TAG-Heuer: Part 2

    2. I enjoyed that, @mashiat. That was funny! :O)

  3. I would hope that they have had a succession plan in place for quite some time given that both departures have been known for a fair while.

    If that’s the case nothing much should change although it’s becoming clear that Ferrari in particular are slowly closing the gap.

    Should be interesting.

    1. @dbradock Ferrari are ahead right now

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