Toto Wolff announces major shakeup in huge boost to Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes have made several changes to their technical team, in a bid to close the gap to Red Bull.

After some speculation that a change was on the cards, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has confirmed that James Allison and Mike Elliott have swapped jobs, with Allison returning to his previous role of technical director.

It means that Elliott will inherit Allison’s former role as chief technical officer, with the change having come after Elliott openly admitted himself that he wasn’t suited to the gig.

In a bid to get Mercedes back towards the front of the field, Elliott agreed with Allison that they should swap jobs for the good of the team, with the Silver Arrows having won just one race since the start of the new aerodynamic regulations.

“This was very much driven by Mike Elliott owning the process,” Wolff told Autosport.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

“So, we have reversed the roles. Mike has moved up to CTO, as he has a brilliant switched-on scientific mind. And James Allison has returned to his technical director position, reporting in to Mike.”

Following the switch, it’s been confirmed that Elliott will continue to work full-time for the Silver Arrows, despite the fact that Allison only worked three days a week whilst in the chief technical officer role.

Allison is also set to remain somewhat involved in INEOS’ America’s cup project, which he was working on prior to the job swap.

Wolff added that Elliott informed him that Allison would be better suited to the technical director role, with Elliott believing his own strengths were best suited to the chief technical officer position.

Article continues below

“What Mike’s assessment was, and the introspection is really admirable, is that with James we have a gladiator on the field and the troops are going to go through the fire for him and with him,” added Wolff.

“Mike came to the conclusion that the way he approaches things, his skill set, is best utilised in developing the organisation going forward: from technical capabilities to human capabilities and putting together the structure that can be successful for many years to come.

“It’s about creating a structure that can be sustainably successful going into the next generation. We’re seeing huge changes in the technical developments, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

READ: Ex-F1 driver criticises Formula 1’s obsession with the US

“And at the same time, looking at how is a modern Formula One team going to be organised and structured: what kind of innovation can be brought in.

“Mike sees himself very much in his sweet spot there and obviously he’s a super capable engineer, very credible and respected in the organisation. He is going to be a coach and sparring partner for the most senior people.

“And I’m actually very happy that Mike took this decision by himself to put himself in this role, with both him and James coming to this conclusion, as we are having both of them in their genius.”