Mercedes F1 directors to leave 


Significant reshuffle ousts engineering director and performance director from Formula 1 team 

Mercedes F1 logo Barcelona 2018

Mercedes engineering director Aldo Costa and performance director Mark Ellis will leave the defending Formula 1 constructors’ champions at the end of 2018.  

Costa will work for Mercedes in a consultancy role from 2019 as he seeks to spend more time with his family. The Italian began his career as a stress engineer for Abarth in 1987, moving to Minardi a year later before joining Ferrari as its head of design office in 1996. He rose to become the technical director in 2007 and left for Mercedes in ’12, taking four constructors’ titles with the Silver Arrows. 

His replacement, John Owen, will lead the engineering group and report to technical director James Allison. Owen, who joined the team in 2007, is currently chief designer and has worked at Sauber, Honda and Brawn. 

Ellis will retire from his performance director role as of the middle of next season. He played a major role in the success of Red Bull, spending six years in Milton Keynes before joining Mercedes in ’14. His CV includes stints at Prodrive, Williams Touring Car Engineering, engineering roles at BAR/BAR Honda before he became chief engineer of vehicle performance at Red Bull in 2008. 

Replacing Ellis will be Loic Serra, currently chief vehicle dynamicist for the squad. 

“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,” said Mercedes chief Toto Wolff. 

“They could not be more different personalities but they have both respected that difference and their legacy with Mercedes will stand the 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 [Mercedes 300SL] 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.” 

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