James Allison has returned to his former role of technical director at Mercedes in a job swap with Mike Elliott as the once-dominant team reorganise after a slow start to the Formula One season.
Elliott took over from Allison in July 2021, when the latter shifted to a broader but part-time role as chief technical officer (CTO).
“Mike has led a review of our technical organisation to ensure we have the right structure to deliver sustainable success in the future,” said a team spokesman.
“We are focused on building the best racing car and building the best team to develop that car, with everybody playing to their greatest strengths in the organisation.”
Team boss and co-shareholder Toto Wolff told www.motorsport.com that the changes were driven by Elliott, who will perform the CTO role full time.
“We have reversed the roles. Mike has moved up to CTO, as he has a brilliant switched-on scientific mind. And James Allison has returned to his technical director position, reporting into Mike,” said Wolff.
“Mike’s assessment was... that with James we have a gladiator on the field and the troops are going to go through the fire for him and with him.”
Wolf said the team was also creating a structure for the future, with artificial intelligence and machine learning opening up innovation.
The Austrian said jobs had been restructured also among senior designers to adapt to the new requirements of the sport’s cost cap.
John Owen remains chief designer but his role has been split, with Giacomo Tortora appointed engineering director, to allow him to focus on car design rather than cost cap administration.
Mercedes is third overall after three rounds but already 67 points behind leader and reigning champion Red Bull, which has won every race.
The team won an unprecedented eight successive constructors’ titles from 2014 to 2021 but struggled last year with a bouncing car that took only one win with Britain’s George Russell.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton finished second in Australia on April 2, however, and Mercedes is hoping for further progress in Azerbaijan next week.
“We have defined a clear direction where we need to go and I believe we are on the right trajectory,” Wolff said this week. “We need to consolidate our understanding and hopefully over the next few races we can make another step.”
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