Mercedes F1 evolves technical leadership for future success

Elliott to replace Allison as Mercedes F1 Technical Director

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By Olivier Ferret

9 April 2021 - 12:14
Mercedes F1 evolves technical (...)

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team today announced the next step in the evolution of its technical leadership structure for the years ahead.

Effective 1 July 2021, James Allison will begin a newly created role entitled Chief Technical Officer (CTO). In this role, James will step back from the day-to-day management of the F1 technical operations which he has led since early 2017 and will turn his energy instead to help the team meet the strategic challenges of the sport’s next era. As the CTO, James will continue to work closely with the technical leadership at both Brackley and Brixworth to help ensure that the team always has the right capability to meet its needs.

At the same time, Mike Elliott will be promoted to the role of Technical Director of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. After beginning his career at McLaren in 2000, and a subsequent stint at the Renault F1 Team, Mike joined Mercedes in 2012 as Head of Aerodynamics and was central to developing the sport’s leading aerodynamics group in the subsequent years. Since 2017, he has been the team’s Technology Director and has played a key role in developing the team’s performance capability as part of our senior technical leadership.

The transition to the new organisation will take place across the coming months as we continue the 2021 championship battle on track and prepare for the significant challenge of the 2022 technical and sporting regulations in our development programmes back at base.

Toto Wolff: “Since joining Mercedes in 2017, James 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. 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. We often say that the organisation is a dynamic organism, and that we need to adapt continuously if we want to truly thrive. Effective succession planning has been a strength of our team, so I am delighted to announce Mike in his new role as Technical Director. We first met at the beginning of 2013 when I joined the team and have spent many hours talking about the team and its evolution since then. Mike has developed from our Head of Aerodynamics to now being ready to take the step up to become Technical Director. Together with an exceptional group of senior technical leaders, this puts us in the best possible position for the sport’s next era.”

James Allison: “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. 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. It is a great pleasure to be succeeded by Mike, an exceptional engineer in a tremendously strong group of senior leaders in the team. We will benefit from the freshness that he will bring to the role – and I hope I can continue to make a useful contribution across a new sphere of activity in my role as CTO, with a focus on increasing our capability across the board and supporting Toto with the major strategic challenges we face in the near future.”

Mike Elliott: “It has been a great pleasure and privilege to work for James earlier in my career at Renault, and for the past four years at Mercedes. His track record in the sport speaks for itself, and he has been a fantastic team-mate and leader for me during that time. They are big shoes to fill and I am delighted that we will be able to call on his expertise in his new role as CTO. On a personal level, it is an amazing opportunity to become Technical Director of a team like Mercedes, and I must thank Toto and our company for trusting me to make the step up to this new role. It is an incredible privilege to be part of this team and I know that the leadership strength at every level through the company will be vital to our future success. I can’t wait to get started and to tackle the many exciting technical challenges ahead of us in the next months and years.”

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