James Allison to take over as technical director at F1 team Mercedes | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 16.02.2017
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James Allison to take over as technical director at F1 team Mercedes

Formula One champions Mercedes have announced that James Allison is set to become the team's new technical director. He moves over from Ferrari, where he had held a similar position.

A statement posted on the Mercedes-AMG F1 website on Thursday said that James Allison would officially join the defending constructors' champions on March 1. 

The 48-year-old Englishman succeeds Paddy Lowe, who helped lead Mercedes to three successive constructors' championships, but quit the team last month. Allison, who has won titles with both Ferrari and Renault, is to report directly to Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff, the statement said.

"James is a sharp engineer. I think we have found the perfect guy and the right fit with our senior leaders," Wolff said.

"I am very excited to be getting back to work after this time away from the sport," said Allison, who left Ferrari last July citing personal reasons. Allison, a father of three, lost his wife to meningitis early in 2016 after moving to Italy for his second stint at Ferrari. He first took a leave of absence in March and then ultimately left the team. The family had been dividing their time between the UK, where Mercedes is based, and Italy.

"It's a massive privilege to be given the trust of a position in a team that has done so spectacularly well in the past three seasons," Allison said. "I am really looking forward to playing my part in helping Mercedes go from strength to strength in the coming years." 

The 2017 Formula One season opens with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 26.

pfd/msh (Reuters, dpa)