Red Bull engineer defects to Mercedes partner

INEOS own a third of the Mercedes F1 team, as does Toto Wolff and Daimler AG.

Former Red Bull engineer Laura Davies has revealed that she’ll be joining INEOS Britannia for the second time to contest the 37th America’s Cup, after departing the Milton Keynes-based team.

INEOS are, of course, a major shareholder of the Mercedes F1 team, with the company owning a third of the Brackley-based team.

Team principal Toto Wolff and the Mercedes-Benz Group (Daimler AG) also own a third each, with Davies set to also work alongside the F1 team as a result.

Davies shared her exciting news on LinkedIn and how much she’s “looking forward” to being able to compete against her former side.

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“If you’re going to move to a competitor, why not make it 2!? My 6 months in isolation is finally coming to its end,” Davies wrote on LinkedIn.

“On April 24th, I will be joining Ben Ainslie’s 37th America’s Cup campaign in an attempt to finally bring home the Americas Cup with INEOS Britannia. This will be my second Americas Cup campaign with this team and I am super excited to rejoin them with the additional knowledge I have acquired over the last 6 years since being a graduate.

“I will still be close to Formula 1, working alongside our partner Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team.

“I look forward to competing with #redbull on the water as well as on the track!”

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Whilst Davies will remain “close” to F1, Wolff has confirmed that chief technical officer James Allison will not be involved with the F1 side of things, with his work being more focused currently on the America’s Cup.

“No, he’s not really involved,” Wolff told Autosport.

“He’s involved in the long-term strategy of the team. But he’s doing more activities like America’s Cup.”

Allison has played an integral role in Mercedes’ success since joining the Silver Arrows in 2017; however, performances haven’t been up to scratch since he took on his wider role.

With Mercedes having struggled since the introduction of the new aerodynamic regulations, it has been suggested that Allison could be brought back to focus on F1 and replace his successor Mike Elliot.

Wolff has also denied this but does admit that Allison boasts a “big record”.

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“It’s not one person always in an organisation,” added Wolff.

“But you need to find the right people for the right roles. Sometimes it can mean that you’re super competent in one area, but maybe not overall.

“James, for sure, as a technical director in the past, has a big record and is a people’s person. He’s somebody that is still very important for the organisation.”