There are reports that there is another technical restructuring taking place at Mercedes AMG Petronas. Given that the current structure has not even had time to settle down, it seems rather more likely that any shuffling going on is simply to redistribute roles following the departure of Loic Bigois, who had been managing aerodynamic programmes.
The news that Mike Elliott has joined the team is rather out of date, as he took up his new role as head of aero in April, taking over that position from John Owen, who was moved up to a bigger role. The team is somewhat top heavy in terms of engineering management, with Ross Brawn as team principal, Bob Bell as technical director, but only since April 2011. Geoff Willis joined as technology director in October last year and Aldo Costa was added as engineering director last December. To suggest that all of these people are going to be shovelled out of the way after less than a year is not a very sensible idea. It is more logical to suggest that Brawn and Bell are strengthening the Mercedes team with people they know from their previous jobs in F1, the aim being to get the best possible crew together to improve Mercedes’s performance. Putting them together in the right structure is the challenge.
Elliott is a PHD from Imperial College, London, a celebrated training ground for F1 engineers. He joined McLaren in 1999 and stayed until 2008 when he was recruited by Renault to be a senior aerodynamicist, under Bell’s guidance.