Former technical director Mike Elliott departs Mercedes F1 squad

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It’s been confirmed that Mike Elliott has departed the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team following speculation about changes at the squad on social media throughout the day. A source confirmed the news to Pit Debrief earlier this afternoon.

Elliott has been with Mercedes since 2012. He was initially head of aerodynamics from 2012-2017. After holding the position of technology director for another 4 years, he was promoted into the technical director position for the new era of Formula One.

However, the W13 and W14 both failed to meet expectations after the team had won seven straight Drivers’ Championships and eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships.

A lot of porpoising in early and a general lack of performance saw Mercedes struggle in 2022, although they did manage to get a win with George Russell at Interlagos towards the end of the campaign.

While the performance has been more consistent this year after an update package brought to the Monaco Grand Prix and another at COTA , the W14 has once again failed to give Lewis Hamilton and George Russell the opportunity to regularly fight for wins and the championship.

Elliott led the team that decided to go with a zero sidepod concept at the start of 2022. However, this fell way short of expectations and a change in concept was required through the course of this season.

Changes were made at Mercedes in April as James Allison returned to his former role as technical officer, with Elliott taking the position Allison held of Chief Technical Officer.

Elliott will now go into a period of gardening leave. It’s unknown if he will stay in the sport, but he has spent over 20 years in F1 between McLaren, Lotus and Mercedes.

Photo credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Mike Elliott:

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

Toto Wolff:

“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.

“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.”