James Allison, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2023

Hamilton: Allison’s return as technical director will “only strengthen” Mercedes

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton is pleased with Mercedes’ decision to return James Allison to the role of technical director in a straight swap with Mike Elliott.

Mercedes confirmed last week the two most senior members of its technical team have exchanged roles.

Allison, who joined Mercedes in 2017 as its technical director and remained in that position until 2021, has returned to the role. He has swapped places with Elliott, who took over as technical director when Allison became chief technical officer in 2021.

Having dominated the seasons which followed the introduction of the sport’s V6 hybrid turbo regulations in 2014, Mercedes has suffered a downturn in performance in recent seasons. It won an eighth consecutive constructors’ championship in 2021 but Hamilton was narrowly beaten to the drivers’ championship by Max Verstappen in controversial circumstances.

Mercedes produced a strikingly original design when F1 introduced new technical regulations for the 2022 season. But the car proved unsuccessful, the team spent much of the year labouring to work out why it did not perform as expected, and they only scored a single win at the penultimate race.

The team remained faithful to its ‘zero sidepod’ design this year, but when the season began it discovered it had fallen further behind world champions Red Bull. Early in the year Mercedes accepted it would have to change aspects of its design philosophy in order to become competitive.

Allison’s return to the role of technical director will move his focus more onto their current car. He had previously invested more time into preparing for the next generation of F1 rules which are due to arrive in 2026.

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Hamilton, who hasn’t won a race since December 2021, believes the team’s change at the top of its technical division is the right move.

“James has always been a part of the team, obviously he was focused a little bit on another area before,” he said in today’s press conference at the Baku City Circuit. “Having him step back in to support and work alongside Mike I think is only going to strengthen the team moving forwards.”

Allison, who is 55, had two stints each at Ferrari and Renault (the latter also competing as Lotus and Benetton during his time) before he joined Mercedes.

“He’s obviously got an amazing amount of experience,” Hamilton continued. “So I think moving forwards it’s just going to be great for the team. Particularly with all the things we want to achieve, not only on-track but off-track, I think it’s going to be good.

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2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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1 comments on “Hamilton: Allison’s return as technical director will “only strengthen” Mercedes”

  1. harsh vardhan harsh vardhan
    28th April 2023, 1:47

    The guy just threw Mike Elliott under the bus
    Let’s see who turn is next

Comments are closed.