Andy Cowell is Managing Director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. He is a Fellow of both the IMechE and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
For Andy, working in Formula One was always a childhood dream. He explains: “I wanted to work in F1 because of my childhood addiction to motorsport, helping my Dad compete in sprints and hill climbs and avidly watching Formula One on the TV.”
Andy’s career path was set after a year spent on the Reynard Scholarship Scheme during his Mechanical Engineering degree. He joined Cosworth Racing Ltd. on their graduate scheme straight from university and worked his way through the company’s various technical departments before specialising in the design and development of Formula One engines.
By 1998, Andy was leading the engineering project group responsible for the top end of the innovative CK engine, as raced to victory by Stewart-Ford in 1999. He spent a year with BMW Motorsport in 2000, managing the engineering group responsible for the concept and detail of the 2001 BMW-Williams engine.
Andy returned to Cosworth as Principal Engineer for F1 design and development in 2001, managing new engine projects in 2001 and 2003, before joining the company then known as Mercedes-Ilmor in 2004 as Principal Engineer for the FQ V10 engine project. 16 years later, he remembers joining the Mercedes family fondly: “On my first day with the team, I felt privileged to be working with such a capable group and apprehensive about my ability to positively contribute.”
He worked as Chief Engineer on Ilmor’s V8 engine project before taking on responsibility for the technical and programme leadership of all engine projects – including the KERS Hybrid system, which made its F1 race debut in 2009 and for which the company was subsequently awarded the prestigious Dewar Trophy by the Royal Automobile Club.
Andy subsequently served as Engineering and Programme Director for Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines from July 2008 to January 2013, responsible for technical and programme leadership of all engine and powertrain projects, plus the strategy and organisation of the engineering group.
Since January 2013, Andy has been Managing Director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, overseeing development of the PU106A V6 Hybrid Power Unit, which went on to successfully power the 2014 championship-winning F1 W05 Hybrid and was also awarded the Dewar Trophy.
Under Andy’s leadership, Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains has powered the Mercedes works team to 12 world titles in six years, winning both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018 and 2019.
The Mercedes-AMG F1 M08 EQ Power+, the hybrid power unit of the 2017 season, achieved a conversion efficiency of more than 50% during dyno testing in Brixworth, making it the most efficient racing engine ever made. The improvements in efficiency have continued and this conversion efficiency is now achieved on track in the confines of the latest F1 chassis.
Andy was awarded the IMechE James Clayton Award in 2013 for his outstanding contributions to engine design and development in Formula One – including the V10, V8 and incumbent V6 with Hybrid Energy Recovery System – while also being recognised for his inspirational leadership at Brixworth.
- 2013 Managing Director, Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains
- 2008 Engineering and Programme Director, Mercedes-Benz HPE
- 2006 Chief Engineer, Engines, Mercedes-Benz HPE
- 2005 Chief Engineer, V8 Engine Project, Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines
- 2004 Principal Engineer, V10 Engine, Mercedes-Ilmor
- 2000 Principal Engineer, F1 Design and Development, Cosworth Racing
- 1999 Head of Pre-Development, Formula One, BMW Motorsport
- 1997 Principal Engineer, F1 Design and Development, Cosworth Racing
- 1994 Senior Engineer, F1 Design and Development, Cosworth Racing
- 1992 Project Engineer, F1 Design and Development, Cosworth Racing
- 1991 Graduate Engineer, Cosworth Racing
Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team