12 July 2018
Aldo Costa on the move
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will be losing the day-to-day services of two of its most important engineers in the months ahead. Engineering Director Aldo Costa is moving to an advisory role because he wants to spend more time with his family in Italy and Performance Director Mark Ellis has decide to retire and take a sabbatical, beginning in mid-2019. Ellis has been with the team since 2014 after a period spent at Red Bull Racing but had previously worked with BAR at Brackley. The team's engineering group will now be headed by technical director director James Allison and will include chief designer John Owen. Ellis's role will go to chief vehicle dynamicist Loic Serra, who has worked for Mercedes since 2010.
"This is a significant moment for our team and a great opportunity," says Toto Wolff. "We have said many times that you cannot freeze a successful organisation; it is a dynamic structure and I am proud that we are able to hand the baton smoothly to the next generation of leaders inside the team. We have been in discussion for many months with both Mark and Aldo about how best to implement this transition and to empower their successors. They could not be more different personalities but they have both respected that difference and their legacy with Mercedes will stand test of time. Since the early days of 2013, Aldo and I have shared many dinners in Oxford as fellow European exiles, as well as some amazing days in the car at the Mille Miglia last year. I have got to know not just an outstanding individual but also somebody who has taught me so much about Formula 1 and the humility it takes in order to be successful. With Mark, when we first met we could never have imagined the success we would achieve together. He has been a sparring partner in the truest sense of the word - and I will miss our 'tough love' discussions with their shared passion for our team and driven by the ultimate will to win. Mark and Aldo have both helped to shape the timing and manner of these changes, and the team's future is very bright with John, Loic and our entire technical leadership working under James's direction."
It will be interesting to see if either Costa or Ellis turn up with other teams, as both would be high on the wish list of any serious F1 operation.