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Mercedes technical director: 'Completely realistic about Max's performance'

Mercedes technical director: 'Completely realistic about Max's performance'

25-04-2023 10:50 Last update: 11:46
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James Allison has explained the decision to return as technical director. At the F1 Nation podcast, Allison explains how he and Mike Elliott decided to switch roles, and what he still hopes to achieve with Mercedes in the rest of the season.

Allison's return to the role of technical director raises expectations at Mercedes. Allison previously filled that role from 2017 to 2021 and before that did the same at Ferrari and Renault in the years they won their championships. In statistics, the cars designed by Allison have won almost as many titles as Adrian Newey's cars. It is certainly notable, then, that after Allison left as Mercedes' technical director, the team's performance declined significantly.

"Between Mike and I concluded that the pair of us could cover the ground reasonably well, but that perhaps I was better suited to the short term fighting of a championship with the car, and that he was the much better chess player of the pair of us and would be better suited for doing the job I was doing as CTO previously. So we jiggled it about and came out with a better fighting machine overall," Allison said.

"I don’t think that this decision is particularly dependent on the good fortune of the car in any raceweekend," the Briton continued. "It was based on a sober assessment of what the pair of us are best suited to. We think that the overall fighting strength of this team is maximized by this role swap. Let’s hope that Melbourne is just the first step in a general pickup and recovery that allows us to get more competitive by the weekend. But Mike and I are convinced that with the jobs we’re setting out to do, we’ll be playing our best part in that recovery in the time ahead of us."

Allison honest about Red Bull performance

Although it is still early in the year, there are already question marks over whether Mercedes' season is salvageable. Aston Martin has overtaken the German team and Red Bull does not seem to have to expect competition from anyone. While Allison remains hopeful, he also does acknowledge the reality of where Mercedes currently stands.

"We’re completely realistic about the significant performance of the Red Bull and particularly Max," Allison admits. "They’re going to be extremely worthy opposition to hunt down and in due course overtake. "