By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
After Paddy Lowe’s shocking departure for Williams, Mercedes AMG Petronas has confirmed highly rated ex-Ferrari and Renault man James Allison will take the helm of technical director for the Silver Arrows.
Allison brings a breadth of experience and is known as one of F1’s foremost experts on aerodynamics, something the 2017 regulations have put back in the spotlight. He worked at Benetton, Larrouusse, Ferrari during the Schumacher years, Renault during the Alonso years, Lotus during their brief resurgence with Raikkonen, and then Ferrari for the last several seasons. He was forced to leave the Maranello based outfit last summer when his wife suddenly passed away and he moved back to the UK to be with family.
With Lowe vacating his spot at Mercedes HQ in Brackley, Allison has a new gig close to home and technical direction over the most dominant team in history. He will not begin official duties until March, until then he can get a good look at the first pre-season test in Barcelona and then set to the enviable work of keeping Mercedes at the front of the field.
Team Principal Toto Wolff, likely happy his power struggle with Lowe is over, heaped glowing praise on the team’s new arrival. “Our technical team is extremely skilled at every level and at the top of its game after delivering three world championships in a row,” said Wolff. “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. James is a sharp engineer; I think we have found the perfect guy and the right fit with our senior leaders.”