Allison doesn't want Mercedes F1 team boss role - Wolff

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says that James Allison has made it clear that he doesn't want to one day be the team principal at the Brackley outfit.

Allison doesn't want Mercedes F1 team boss role - Wolff
 

It was announced last week that as of 1 July, Mercedes technical director Allison will hold a newly created position of chief technical officer, a change that some observers interpreted as a possible first step to the former Lotus and Ferrari engineer eventually being the overall head of the team.

Wolff retains the team principal job for the foreseeable future, having explored his options over the past year. The Austrian has made it clear that he will eventually move aside, but speaking on Saturday after qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, he stressed that the job won't go to Allison.

"I would say if you look at things, he would absolutely be capable to be the team principal," Wolff said of Allison. "And also the people here, there's so much respect [for him] within the organisation.

"But the thing is very easy. He said, 'Never, ever I would do this. Team principal requires different skills.' And so he said, 'No, thank you.'"

"James and I speak multiple times every single day. And we're totally coordinated on the strategic direction of Mercedes Motorsport, and Mercedes Grand Prix.

"So much earlier than before we decided the CTO role - it must have been a year or two ago - we discussed the future of the team principal role in Mercedes.

"And he made it very clear that that was not for him. And since then, obviously I am thinking and I'm looking and I'm observing, what is happening out there, and who's doing a good job. So finally, I can step back from this madness!"

Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, pour Champagne over James Allison at the 2019 US GP

Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, pour Champagne over James Allison at the 2019 US GP

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Wolff stressed that Allison is the ideal man for the new CTO role, and that Mike Elliott – his replacement as technical director – will also be a good fit.

"James obviously is a huge asset to the team, not only as a brilliant engineer, but also as a leader," said Wolff. "And he has a good understanding and overview of what is happening in F1 beyond the technical space.

"He is a sparring partner of mine when it comes down to strategic discussions, political discussions, and he is getting more involved also with the other departments and racing programmes that we have.

"And that's why it was almost a logical step to make my technical twin brother, I'm also the head of Mercedes Motorsport. And so it makes sense to have a technical director for all motorsports programmes.

"So if you see, I'm the CEO, and he's the CTO, and for him he enjoyed the enjoyed the idea. So we've worked on that for a year.

"On the other side, Mike Elliott, just about joined with me, he came from Renault and was the head of aero there. And I have had such a great relationship with him over all these years.

"He's a hugely competent, intelligent and intellectual engineer, someone who has been a fundamental pillar in the team's success and recognised from the whole organisation.

"That's why I'm really happy that he's become the technical director. But having said that, there we have such a solid group that he's one of a group that will lead the team in the future."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

Previous article

F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch, & more

Next article

Alonso: Lack of trust in Alpine F1 car costly at old-school Imola

Alonso: Lack of trust in Alpine F1 car costly at old-school Imola
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021