Mercedes’s Mike Elliot is to leave the team after a 23-year career in Formula 1. Having started out as an aerodynamicist at McLaren, Elliot went on to become head of aero at Mercedes, then technology director and latterly, technical director.
“Mike has been one of the pillars of the team’s achievements over the past decade and it’s with truly mixed feelings that we say goodbye to him today,” explained team principal Toto Wolff. “Mike is a fiercely intelligent technical brain and a great team-player; he has made a strong contribution not just to winning racing cars but also to building the culture of our team.
“But on the other side, it’s clear that he’s ready for new adventures beyond Mercedes – so I know this is the right step for him to take, too. He leaves the team today with our thanks for the effort, commitment and expertise he has brought to the team over the past 11 years – and our very best wishes for the future.”
Elliot has been focusing on developing a technical strategy to renew the team’s technical capability for the years ahead. With this plan now in place and in the process of delivery, Elliot says he has decided to take a break from the sport in the coming months, before deciding upon his next challenge.
“It has been one of the great privileges of my career to be part of this Mercedes team,” explained Elliot. “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 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.”