Mercedes announce James Allison as technical director

Mercedes AMG Petronas announced the appointment of James Allison as the team’s new technical director replacing Paddy Lowe, who left for Williams F1. James recently left Ferrari and some speculation has been made about the reasons but certainly after experiencing very tragic personal family circumstances, a new position close to home makes a tremendous amount of sense.

James said:

“I am very excited to be getting back to work after this time away from the sport,” said Allison.

“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.”

From the outside looking in, James has now repeated his situation at Ferrari when he came on board and inherited an existing car design and the 2017 season will be no different. How James can impact the pre-existing design will boil down to the car’s platform and how much development can be made to it during the course of the season.

Mercedes boss Toto 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 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.”

It’s a good move for James and a good addition for Mercedes but we may not see the complete Allison magic until 2018 as he works on the next evolution of the car.

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peter riva

I don’t know about ‘magic” judging by the 2015 and 2016 Ferrari designs.

Negative Camber

That leads to some of the rumors of leaving versus pushed but I don’t put a lot of stock in either as I’m not involved. I do know his personal situation must have had a lot to do with it. There was some suggestions that working with Maranello wasn’t as easy as it seemed and I wonder how much Sergio had a role in making that challenging? On the other side of the coin, his work at Lotus was good and Kimi did well there. The car in 2016 was more to Kimi’s liking for sure but still not a… Read more »

peter riva

I truly wish the man well, but if results are the judge, once he was top man, the results were okay, but not stellar.

peter riva

The Peter principle may be involved (as we’re seeing elsewhere in DC at the moment).

Salvu Borg

James Allison is a good aerodynamicist, his success with FERRARI (2000-2004) was under Brawn/Byrne/Todt. His success with Renault(2005-2006) was under Bob Bell. His elevation to the F1 God like status was given him by FERRARI. There is no doubt/question that his terrible personal tragedy should be taken into account, even so, it seems FERRARI were willing to give him the time he needed (minimum hours at the job) to deal with that, just not indefinitely. it was reported (British press) that during the British GP the team begged him to come on race day from where he lives in Oxfordshire,… Read more »


Hi Salvu, how much were Lowe’s bonus payments?

Salvu Borg

I don’t know, but the totonator for sure does.


I’d imagine it would still be less than the driver payments.
I wonder if Ross Brawn got any win bonus as part of his severence deal?