Another significant change is taking place at Mercedes, whose restructuring in early 2023 was already a huge story in F1 news. Mercedes began their direction with this generation of F1 cars with a change at the top of the technical office in 2021. This was a crucial decision for the design of a largely unsuccessful W13.
At the time, Mike Elliott was promoted to replace James Allison. Allison wanted to step away and ‘take a breather’ after several years and many victories as head of Mercedes’ technical office and many victories.
Mike Elliott is widely regarded as a great technical strategist as well as an aerodynamic specialist, a leading figure with twenty years of experience in F1. However, under his guidance, the zero sidepods concept was studied and implemented – failing to produce results.
When this year began, it became very clear that the 2024 project would take another path. By Toto Wolff’s own admission, the Brackley team realised that this unique philosophy would not lead to victory.
Initially, this resulted in the return of James Allison as full-time technical director.
Mike Elliott spent some time on the sidelines in a different role – and has ultimately made the decision to resign.
It must be stressed that Elliott made the choice to leave independently. He departs on good terms with the Silver Arrows.
Because Elliott is a senior figure at the highest level, the 49-year-old British engineer must comply with some time in “gardening leave.” This is to prevent a rival from immediately poaching the former Mercedes man.
Despite his failed sidepod philosophy, Elliott will be an attractive figure for various teams on the grid – thanks to his knowledge and experience at the highest level of F1. His success at Brackley speaks for itself.
In any case, this marks a new chapter for the British engineer.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT: Mike Elliott leaves Mercedes
Author: Giuliano Duchessa
Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang