Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport has announced a number of changes in its senior technical leadership, which will see the positions of engineering director and performance director filled by a new generation of leadership.
Current engineering director Aldo Costa has decided to move into the role of technical advisor to the team from the beginning of 2019, in order to spend more time with his family in Italy.
“The last seven years with Mercedes have been an amazing experience – not just successful professionally but also a life experience that has enriched me and my family, and given us a more open and international mind-set,” Costa commented.
“We have seen the team progress and achieve success, and now our next challenge is to create an even stronger group to meet the challenges of the next decade.”
“Over the past year, I have worked with Toto and James to develop a long-term succession plan to help the next generation do the job in the best possible way. I am happy to leave the baton in the capable hands of John [Owen, the new chief designer] and James [Allison, the technical director] – and to continue to support the new organization as a technical advisor to ensure it prospers in the future.”
The engineering group led by Aldo has evolved in recent months and will continue to focus more on design activities in the future. Chief designer John Owen will become the senior member of this group, under the leadership of technical director James Allison. John has been with the team since 2007.
In addition, performance director Mark Ellis has decided to retire from his current position and to take a sabbatical beginning mid-2019. Ellis returned to Mercedes in 2014 following six years with Red Bull Racing that included multiple world championship wins, and continued that run of success with Mercedes.
“After 30 flat-out seasons in motorsport, 19 of them in Formula One, I have decided it is time for me to take a sabbatical from the sport,” Ellis said.
Ellis will be replaced by current chief vehicle dynamicist Loic Serra by the end of 2018, although Ellis will remain to support the transition until the middle of next year. Loic has been with Mercedes since 2010.
Team principal Toto Wolff said, “We have said many times that you cannot freeze a successful organization; it is a dynamic structure and I am proud that we are able to hand the baton smoothly to the next generation of leaders inside the team.
“Mark and Aldo have both helped to shape the timing and manner of these changes, and the team’s future is very bright with John, Loic and our entire technical leadership working under James’s direction.”