James Allison

Allison: Role swap with Elliott will ‘maximise fighting strength of Mercedes’

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In the round-up: Mercedes technical director James Allison, who has returned to the position after exchanging the position of chief technical officer with Mike Elliott, says their role swap will allow both to play to their strengths.

In brief

W14 a “weak” car by Mercedes’ standards – Allison

Allison has made an eye-catching return to the role of technical director, a role he vacated two years ago, in a bid to restore the team to competitiveness following their second consecutive sub-par start to a season.

He told the official F1 website his exchange of positions with Elliott was not “particularly dependent on the fortune of the car at a given race weekend – it was based on a sober assessment of what the pair of us are best suited to. We think that the overall fighting strength of this team is maximised by this role swap.”

It followed the team’s most encouraging performance of the year so far in Australia. “Let’s hope Melbourne is just the first step in a general pick-up and recovery that helps us to get more competitive by the weekend,” Allison continued. “Mike and I are convinced that with the jobs we’re setting out to do we’ll be playing our best part in that recovery in the time ahead of us.”

Allison spelled out their areas for improvement on the W14
While the team already plans to bring a series of improvements to its W14 in the coming races, Allison said the car is not without its positive features. “It’s reliable – touch wood – that’s a definite strength,” he said. “It’s got a very quick pair of punters pedalling it around.

“It’s better than most of the grid out there but until it’s the quickest one it will always feel like a weak car to all of us.

“It’s adequately kind to its tyres but not as good as some other cars we’ve made in the past. It’s got more downforce than most of the cars on the grid but not sufficient. Its handling characteristics leave a little to be desired and need to be worked on, for sure.

“But none of this stuff is revelatory. We’ve been talking about it most weekends and it’s part of what this team needs to address to get winning material back in our hands.”

Massa lawyers up

Felipe Massa has gathered a team of lawyers to investigate the events of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, Motorsport-Total reports. The former Ferrari driver, who finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in the world championship 15 years ago, is seeking to challenge the outcome of the race following Bernie Ecclestone’s claim F1 and the FIA knew before the end of the season that Fernando Alonso’s victory had come about due to his team mate’s deliberate crash.

Hamilton “fed up”

Joan Villadelprat, who worked for McLaren, Ferrari and Benetton in Formula 1 before being involved in Epsilon Euskadi’s unsuccessful attempt to enter the series in 2010, says he doubts Lewis Hamilton is motivated to win an eighth world championship. Writing in his column for El Confidencial the 67-year old claimed Hamilton is “fed up” and too quick to complain when his tyres or strategy are not right.

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Comment of the day

After another driver suffers an injury from an incident involving a sausage kerb, @bernasaurus is one of many voices questioning the need for the little-loved item to begin with…

What I don’t get is – what is the argument for sausage kerbs? I’ve literally never heard anyone say they’re a good idea, nobody. Someone somewhere must think they’re great.

It’s not just Peroni being flipped 30ft in the air and landing where nobody would ever expect a race car to end up. Abbie [Eaton]’s was a somewhat pedestrian incident, she basically just went over it and broke her back.

I guess they’re a ‘deterrent’, but as pointed out above, so is grass and gravel, and they don’t break cars or bones at low speed, or launch cars to the moon at high speed.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Andrewf1, Christopher and Christopher Rehn!

On this day in motorsport

  • 30 years ago today Alain Prost dominated the San Marino Grand Prix and closed within two points of championship leader Ayrton Senna, who retired with a hydraulics failure

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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2 comments on “Allison: Role swap with Elliott will ‘maximise fighting strength of Mercedes’”

  1. The 2008 Singapore GP overturning attempt probably won’t lead anywhere.

    I’m surprised Lewis was on a grandstand rather than pit lane.

    Re COTD: I’m still baffled as Imola doesn’t even have sausage curbs based on the Emilia-Romagna GPs done so far since the circuit’s F1 return unless one wants to consider the yellow bumps beside Variante Alta apex curbs as sausage curbs because of being bigger than the other yellow bumps.

  2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    25th April 2023, 8:23

    I’m not one for living by the opinions of others but this isn’t a good look on you Felipe. You handled Brazil 2008 with such humility, grace and integrity it transcended the championship itself. Not in a million years will this be overturned and even if it is surely that would be rather hollow 15 years later.

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