Elliott to replace Allison as technical director in Mercedes reshuffle

By Sports Desk April 09, 2021

Mike Elliott will replace James Allison as technical director in a reshuffle for Formula One constructors' champions Mercedes.

Allison has led the Silver Arrows' technical operations since early in 2017, but will step back from day-to-day management to become chief technical officer on July 1.

Elliott, who started his career with McLaren 21 years ago and also worked for Renault, will be promoted to replace Allison.

He joined Mercedes as head of aerodynamics in 2012 before being appointed as the team's technology director four years ago and will switch jobs again in another reshuffle.

Mercedes said in a statement on Friday: "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."

Elliott said: "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 [Wolff] 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."

The Silver Arrows have won seven consecutive constructors' titles and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton won the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix last month.

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    Hamilton finished two tenths clear of team-mate George Russell, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso third.

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    The Silver Arrows went under the radar at last week’s test in the Gulf kingdom, but they were quietly optimistic heading into Thursday’s running – and the second session belonged to the team that once dominated the sport.

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    Hamilton is gearing up for his final season with Mercedes after he elected to terminate his £100million deal 12 months early to join Ferrari in 2025.

    Mercedes have carried Hamilton to six of his record-equalling seven titles. But last year marked a second straight season without a victory for the British driver – a losing streak which now stands at 45 races – and Mercedes’ first winless campaign in a dozen years.

    However, Hamilton, in his radically revised car – after the design concept which failed so spectacularly for the past two seasons was abandoned – will take faith from an encouraging day.

    But Hamilton expects Verstappen, who has raced to the past three world championships, will still be the one to beat.

    “I think we are going to be in the mix,” added Hamilton. “We are there or thereabouts with Ferrari and maybe Aston Martin and McLaren.

    “It is going to be close, but if Max is out in front he will drive off as he has done for the past couple of years.”

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    “Everything is s***,” yelled Verstappen over the radio. “Like miles off.”

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    “It is very close and maybe some people around us have turned up the engine in terms of top speed,” he said.

    “I’m not too worried about the gap to first, for example. It is going to be close in qualifying. I was happier about the long run for the race.”

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    Horner has been cleared to continue as Red Bull team principal following an internal probe into “inappropriate behaviour” towards a female colleague.

    Horner was on the Red Bull pit wall on Thursday for both practice sessions of the new season.

    “I am pleased that the process is over and I cannot comment about it,” he told Sky Sports. “I am focused on the season ahead. Within the team it (the unity) has never been stronger.”

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    The PA news agency has contacted Formula One and the FIA for comment.

    Horner, who has protested his innocence throughout, was questioned by a lawyer for eight hours earlier this month at a secret London location.

    He has been Red Bull team principal since they entered F1 19 years ago and is the longest-serving boss on the grid.

    He has overseen seven drivers’ world championships and six constructors’ titles.

    Red Bull have dominated the sport in recent seasons and last year won 21 of the 22 races, with Dutch driver Max Verstappen setting a new record for 10 consecutive victories as he wrapped up his third title.

    Horner, who is married to former Spice Girls singer Geri Halliwell, was awarded a CBE for his services to motorsport in the New Year Honours.

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