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Why Allison said “no” to Mercedes team principal role

Why Allison said “no” to Mercedes team principal role

F1 News

Why Allison said “no” to Mercedes team principal role

Why Allison said “no” to Mercedes team principal role
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed why chief technical officer and former technical director James Allison has ruled out ever taking over from him at the helm.

Last season, Wolff made clear he was seeking a successor as he was growing weary of the role, and with Allison amongst the names in the frame at the time, only to sign a new three-year deal.

But the British engineer flat refused to be considered then, and nor does he wish to be considered in the future.

Wolff explained: “If you look at things, he would be absolutely capable to be the team principal, and also he has so much respect within the organisation.

“But the thing is very easy. He said never ever I would do this. Team principal requires different skills, so he said no, thank you, no.

“James and I speak multiple times every single day and we are totally coordinated on the strategic direction of Mercedes motorsport and Mercedes Grand Prix.

“It must have been a year or two ago we discussed the future of the Mercedes team principal role and he made it very clear it was not for him.”

Having been the team’s technical director since 2017, Allison announced earlier this month he would begin to step back from his day-to-day duties and hand over the reins to technology director Mike Elliott.

Allison has declared to reaching the end of his “shelf life” in that role and now takes on a CTO position in which he will oversee the technical and strategic approach to the broader scope of Mercedes motorsport.

Wolff added: “James is obviously a huge asset to the team, not only as a brilliant engineer but also as a leader. He has a good understanding and an overview of what is happening in Formula One beyond the technical space.

“He is a sparring partner of mine when it comes down to strategic discussions, political discussions and he is getting more involved also with the other departments and racing programs that we have.

“It was almost a logical step to make him my technical twin brother. I am also the head of Mercedes motorsport so it makes sense to have a technical director for all motorsport. He enjoyed the idea, so we’ve worked on that for a year.”

New technical director Elliott joined the team at a similar time to Wolff and the team leader feels he is the ideal replacement to take the team forward into a new era in 2022.

Wolff added: “I have had such a great relationship with him all these years and he’s a hugely competent, intelligent and intellectual engineer, someone who has been a fundamental pillar in the team’s success.

“That’s why I am really happy that he has become the technical director. Having said that, we have such a solid group. He is one of a group that will lead the team in the future.”

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