After record-breaking performances and back-to-back wins, Mercedes has decided to reshuffle its F1 tech squad to maintain its position in the 2021 F1 Championship.
Recently the seven-time Formula 1 Constructors' title holder announced that designer and engineer James Allison, who joined the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in 2017, will step down from his role in July 2021. He will no longer serve as the technical director. Instead, he will take over the newly created position of the CTO (Chief Technical Officer) at Mercedes. The F1 team also announced that Mike Elliott would replace Allison as the technical director from July 1. Soon after the announcement, Allison and Mercedes' team CEO Toto Wolff made their statements.
Let's hear what they said about this restructuring of the technical team.
Passing on the baton
Sharing his beliefs, Allison said that in racing, people holding senior positions have a shelf life. He continued that stepping down from the technical director's role wasn't a sudden decision; it was the outcome of the end of his term. Allison thought it was the right time to pass on the baton for both the organization and himself, hence this decision. Opening up about his four-and-a-half-year journey at Mercedes, he said that they were blissful years of his life and he thoroughly enjoyed them. While concluding, he said he feels privileged to have led the technical efforts of the team.
A sparring partner
Toto Wolff praised Allison by saying that he has been an exceptional technical leader and a vital contributor to Mercedes' success. Wolff said that the company knew about Allison's terms end, so they created a new position to keep him in the motorsport family. Speaking about Allison's new role, Wolff said he would act as a sparring partner for him in the coming years. Allison will meet the upcoming challenges in the sports era and work closely with the technical teams at Brackley and Brixworth. He will help the company comply with the F1 rules and car overhaul, which is supposed to happen after the 2021 F1 Championship.
Revealing Mark Eliott's journey, who will be replacing Allison as the technical director, Wolff said he started as the Head of Aerodynamics and became the technology director of Mercedes. The 49-year-old Austrian investor elaborated that having a diverse group of senior technical leaders puts Mercedes in the best position for sports’ next era.
The 2021 F1 season
The 72nd Formula One Championship began on March 28, 2021, with the Bahrain Grand Prix. Held at Bahrain International Circuit, the race showed Red Bull Racing as Mercedes’ new challenger. The final standings displayed Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in the first place, Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing in the second position, and Valtteri Bottas also from Mercedes in the third position.
Since it's just the first race of the season, we shouldn't jump to conclusions. Let's wait for the other races and find out who emerges as the overall winner. BTW, the next race is on April 18, so don't forget to watch it!