Mercedes announces shake-up in F1 technical team for 2019
Mercedes has announced a series of personnel changes in its Formula 1 technical team that will take place across the rest of 2018 and into 2019.
Engineering Director Aldo Costa and Performance Director Mark Ellis will both leave their roles, with John Owen and Loic Serra in turn stepping up.
Costa joined Mercedes in 2011, after his exit from Ferrari, and has been regarded as one of the key figures in the manufacturer's successful spell in the championship.
Costa is to take up the consultancy role of Technical Advisor from 2019 as part of his desire to spend more time with family in his native Italy.
In a statement Mercedes said that the current engineering group led by Costa “has evolved in recent months. In the months to come it will take an even sharper focus on car design activities.”
Owen, who has been with the team since 2007, will become the senior member of this group by 2019, under the leadership of Technical Director James Allison.
Ellis, who re-joined Mercedes in 2014, has opted to retire from his current role, prior to taking a sabbatical, and will oversee the transition of Serra to the position by the end of the season.
Serra has worked for Mercedes since 2010 and currently occupies the role of Chief Vehicle Dynamicist.
“This is a significant moment for our team and a great opportunity,” said Team Principal 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.
“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' direction.”
Mercedes has not been beaten to either Formula 1 title since new regulations were introduced at the start of 2014, though currently holds second place to Ferrari in the Constructors' standings, with Sebastian Vettel leading Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' fight.