Mercedes lose top-level technical boss following shock departure

Thomas Maher
Lewis Hamilton races his Mercedes in a blurry action picture taken during the Mexican Grand Prix.

Mercedes will part ways with chief technical officer Mike Elliott.

Following a mid-season shuffle of their senior technical staff, one of Mercedes’ key figureheads has opted to leave the team.

Mike Elliott is departing Mercedes, it has been confirmed. The British engineer has served as Mercedes’ chief technical officer since early 2023, having been the team’s technical director for two years previously.

Following the team’s disappointing start to 2023, Elliott led a revolution within the technical department that resulted in him swapping job roles with James Allison – reversing the job switch the pair had done in 2021.

Mike Elliott departs Mercedes after 11 years

Having joined the Brackley-based team in 2012, Elliott rose through a series of positions that saw him lead the aerodynamic department and become Technology Director before replacing Allison as technical director in mid-2021.

Elliott was thus the main driving force behind the first car created under the new ground-effect regulations introduced for 2022, but the W13 proved a troublesome beast.

When its successor, the W14, proved little better at the start of the year, Elliott’s own internal review resulted in a swap back with Allison – the man who oversaw the successful designs of the previous era returning to the helm while Elliott took on the broader role as Mercedes’ chief technical officer.

Under Allison, Mercedes has since abandoned the zero-sidepod concept that Elliott oversaw, and their competitiveness has improved throughout 2023 as their new concept design – which takes inspiration from Red Bull’s RB19 concept – has matured.

Elliott himself opted to step aside from his role, with no immediate succession plan confirmed on his side – the engineer will face an extended period of gardening leave following his departure.

Toto Wolff pays tribute to departing Mike Elliott

“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,” said Mercedes’ 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.”

Elliott said: “It has been one of the great privileges of my career to be part of this Mercedes team.”

“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 teammates for a fantastic 12 seasons together and wish them every success for the years to come.”

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