Is James Allison back on ‘active duty’ to lead Mercedes’ recovery efforts?

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Is there any truth to rumours that Mercedes brought their Chief Technical Officer James Allison back to ‘active duty’ to head the W14’s development?

For several days rumours have been swirling around that Mercedes decided to bring their Chief Technical Officer James Allison back to ‘active duty’, to head the team’s efforts to improve their 2023 car, in an attempt to salvage the season.

The rumour was started by the Italian branch of, but has not been acknowledged by any major Formula 1 news publications.

Back in 2021 a big change occurred at Mercedes – the team’s Technical Director at the time, James Allison, became the team’s Chief Technical Officer, while Technology Director Mike Elliott got promoted to Allison’s former position.

Allison’s new position meant that he stopped having day-to-day duties when it comes to the design of Mercedes’ F1 cars, while his influence expanded to the team’s applied science division.

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He also became INEOS Britannia sailing team’s Chief Technical Officer, as they prepared to challenge for the America’s Cup.

Aforementioned rumours are now saying that Allison is again actively working on Mercedes’ car, and heading the production of upgrades expected to arrive at Imola.

Furthermore, Italian website recently reported that there was an ‘emergency meeting’ held at Mercedes’ Brackley HQ, and that the team’s current Technical Director Mike Elliott is walking on thin ice, after the W14 turned out not to be the step forward Mercedes was expecting.

However, as of this moment, there is no word from Mercedes that anything like this ever happened, nor did any reputable F1 news source report anything remotely close to these stories.

Furthermore, The Race recently reported that Allison’s role with Mercedes remains “unchanged”.

“There have been suggestions former technical director James Allison has been parachuted in to take over full-time leadership of the project as Mercedes attempts to set on the right direction,” read the report on

“However, his role remains unchanged. Allison’s current job title is chief technical officer across the Mercedes F1 team and its applied science division. He also has that role for the Ineos Britannia America’s Cup team.

“His role changed in the middle of 2021 when Mike Elliott took over as technical director, but Allison’s remit has always included F1, ‘in full support’ of Elliott,” the report concluded.

So, as of this moment, there’s no indication that any of the stories that aforementioned Italian media outlets reported, are even remotely true. Allison has always had input on Mercedes’ F1 operations, and there is no indication that his role has been expanded in any way.

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