Formula One: Key Ferrari man takes on role at Mercedes

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on Nov 27, 2016.
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on Nov 27, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Former Ferrari technical director James Allison will take on a similar role at Mercedes from March 1, the Formula One world champions said yesterday.

He replaces Paddy Lowe, who helped lead Mercedes to three successive driver and constructor world championships, and the Briton will report directly to motorsport head Toto Wolff, the team said in a statement.

"I am very excited to be getting back to work after this time away from the sport," said the 48-year-old Briton, who has won world championships with both Ferrari and Renault.

"It's a massive privilege to be given the trust of a position in a team that has done so spectacularly well in the past three seasons," added Allison, who quit Ferrari last July for personal reasons.

"I am really looking forward to playing my part in helping Mercedes go from strength to strength in the coming years."

The engineer and designer joins too late to have any input in the 2017 car but will be fully involved in its development during the season and that of the 2018 model.

BRINGING PLENTY OF EXPERTISE

James is a sharp engineer. I think we have found the perfect guy and the right fit with our senior leaders.

TOTO WOLFF , Mercedes team boss.

"It wasn't an easy task to find the right personality who can strengthen our experienced group of engineers, give our talented young team members the space to develop and also bring his own vision to this role," Wolff said.

"James is a sharp engineer. I think we have found the perfect guy and the right fit with our senior leaders."

Allison will head a technical group which includes the former Ferrari technical director, Aldo Costa, now the engineering director at Mercedes, and the technical director, Geoff Willis, formerly of Red Bull.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2017, with the headline 'Key Ferrari man takes on role at Mercedes'. Print Edition | Subscribe