James Allison joins Mercedes as new technical director
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News February 16, 2017 Updated: 5:55 AM
James Allison has joined Mercedes AMG Petronas as their new technical director, the team announced Thursday.
The news comes just a month after the departure of Paddy Lowe, who is rumored to join Williams. Allison will report directly to Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff and oversee the workings of the engineering group that has secured the last three constructors' and drivers' championships.
He joins the team a month before the start of the 2017 season and weeks before the start of pre-season testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Barcelona, Spain.
"I am very excited to be getting back to work after this time away from the sport," Allison said. "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. I am really looking forward to playing my part in helping Mercedes go from strength to strength in the coming years."
Mercedes boss Wolff said: "I am delighted to welcome James to Mercedes and very much looking forward to working with him. Our technical team is extremely skilled at every level and at the top of its game after delivering three world championships in a row."
"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 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."
Allison left his role at Ferrari last July and took a leave of absence. Early speculation was that he would return to Renault before choosing to join Mercedes.
Allison started as a member of the aerodynamic team for Benetton. He then moved to the Larrousse F1 team as Head of Aerodynamics. Later Allison returned to Benetton as Head of Aerodynamics. He then moved to Ferrari before returning to Benetton, which had become the Renault F1 team, as Deputy Technical Director.
After a stint with Renault, Allison would rejoin Ferrari as Chassis Technical Director and then Technical Director.
Allison will reunite with ex-Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa, who is the team's current engineering director, as well as former Red Bull technical director Geoff Willis, Mercedes' technology director.
Allison's focus will be on the new car's development throughout the season as well as the development of the 2018 car.