James Allison, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Elliott to take over from Allison as technical director at Mercedes

2021 F1 season

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Mercedes technical director James Allison will move into the role of chief technical officer in July, the team has announced.

The world champions confirmed Allison’s current role as technical director will be taken up by Mike Elliott, who is currently the team’s technology director. The 46-year-old has over two decades of experience in F1 at Mercedes, Renault and McLaren.

The change means Allison will no longer be responsible for the day-to-day management of the team’s technical division, as he has been since arriving at Mercedes in 2017.

“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,” said Allison. “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.”

Team principal Toto Wolff said Allison “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,” Wolff continued.

“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.”

The world champions have managed a series of changes at the top of their technical division in recent years. Andy Cowell, the engine designer who oversaw the creation of Mercedes’ hugely successful V6 turbo hybrids, left the team in January. His role in charge of Mercedes High-Performance Powertrains was taken over by Hywel Thomas.

In 2018 Aldo Costa stepped back from his role as engineering director, while performance director Mark Ellis retired. Despite the changes, Mercedes sustained its domination of Formula 1, sweeping both championships in each of the past seven seasons.

Elliott is “ready to take the step up to become technical director”, said Wolff. “Together with an exceptional group of senior technical leaders, this puts us in the best possible position for the sport’s next era.”

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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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7 comments on “Elliott to take over from Allison as technical director at Mercedes”

  1. Not many of the dream team left now, and so it goes.

  2. At least Allison won’t need to think about taking any IP with him.

  3. Should we start reading between the lines? Rotation is normal. Right?

    Or is it another budget cap collateral? If I’m not mistaken, drivers and some top management are exceptions to the cap. So moving Allison up gets his salary a free pass?

    A simple disassemble of the dream team, maybe? Paving the way to new times…

  4. Is it that much of a change to the dream team? The pit wall must have the longest serving staff of any team with all four having over 20 years service each, with both Shovlin and Meadows being there from day one of BAR. And from what I understand a low turnover of staff, despite a number being offered more lucrative contracts elsewhere.

  5. Dave (@davewillisporter)
    9th April 2021, 18:12

    So the change from technical director to CTO is a move from overseeing day to day operations to overseeing a process, more of a project management role. The project I suspect is the 2022 car. Brawn used to do this. Silo a section of the workforce from the current years day to day stuff and focus purely on “the project” That is the process that led to the Brawn being a vastly faster car at the beginning of the 2009 season.

  6. Didn’t Wolff say last year he was not sure how long he was going to continue and wanted to start ‘grooming’ somebody for the role?

    It would make sense if it was Allison. Now James will have more free time and Toto even says “he will be important sparring partner for me in the next years” meaning they will jointly do the decision making.

    Then on some long fly-away races to come, Wolff is suddenly not there and Allison will sub.

    Not sure what Wolff’s long term plan is though. Take over from Domenicali I guess. (after a long grassing period)

    1. Good analysis. Would make sense. Allison is excellent with the media a good communicator etc

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