Mercedes technical officer, Mike Elliott, is leaving according to the team and will be on a “gardening leave” for a period of time.
“It has been one of the great privileges of my career to be part of this Mercedes team,” he said.
“During my time, I have seen it grow from a group of people pulling together to win races, then a first championship, to winning a record eight consecutive Constructors Championships. – and I am proud to have made my contribution to that journey.
“Although the last two seasons have not seen us winning races in the manner we aspire to, they have tested us in many other ways – and forced us to question our fundamental assumptions about how we deliver performance.
“During the past six months, I have enjoyed developing the technical strategy that we hope can provide the foundations of the team’s next cycle of success.
I’ve wondered what, if any, impact their size zero sided car debacle would have and not because it missed the target but also because they remained so anchored on the concept for so long.
Whether Mike was the reason, part of the reason or not part of the reason, I’m assuming that the target was missed and ultimately, as with all teams, there comes a time to move on. There was a rocky time in the past when Adrian Newey was going to leave Red Bull and it took some serious negotiating to get him to stay.
“I have decided that now is the right time to make my next step beyond Mercedes – first to pause and take stock, after 23 years of working flat-out in this sport, and then to find my next challenge. I would like to thank my team-mates for a fantastic 12 seasons together and wish them every success for the years to come.”
Is he leaving or was he pushed? If he’s leaving, where is he going? Will he go to another team like Aston, Red Bull, McLaren etc? Time will tell. And what impact will/could this have on Mercedes?