Mercedes announce shake-up of backroom staff as 2022 F1 rule changes loom

Mercedes are due to switch up some of their most key team players as they look to win an eighth title alongside Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas this season, while also preparing for big changes in 2022.

From July, James Allison will take up a new role as Chief Technical Officer, which will see him step back from his day-to-day duties with the reigning champions, with current technology director Mike Elliott stepping up to replace him as Technical Director.

Mercedes say it’s their ‘next step in the evolution’ of their leadership structure ahead of all-new regulations in F1 that were originally due to come into force this season.

From 2022, Formula One will oversee a huge shake-up in the rules, including a budget cap, major changes to the way F1 cars produce their performance from aerodynamic downforce, and the cars will become heavier.

The goal is to try and make the championship title fight closer and have more unpredictable racing on track.

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The Silver Arrows have been unbeaten with Allison overseeing the team’s technical operations at Brackley, however he now believes it’s time to step away and take up a new challenge.

Meanwhile, James Allison said: “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.

“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.”

Elliott, who began his F1 career at McLaren in 2000 and also worked at the Renault team, takes over Allison’s role.”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,” said Elliott.

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“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.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff praised Allison for his work over the last four years with his ‘enormous contribution’ to their seven-world titles.

“Since joining Mercedes in 2017,” said Wolff, “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.”

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