Last week Mercedes came up with a remarkable announcement. Technical director James Allison has resigned from his duties as technical director and is stepping into the role of Chief Technical Officer - a new position within the team.
There were immediate rumours that Allison is being groomed to take over from Toto Wolff, but the Austrian says that's not true. "I would say if you look at things, he would absolutely be capable to be the team principal. 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. No'", Toto Wolff told Motorsport.com.
The choice made long ago
The Austrian also revealed that it had been clear for a long time that Allison was not interested in the role of team boss. "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."
"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!", jokes Wolff. For now the Austrian will have to lead the team in the exciting battle with Red Bull Racing.