James Allison does not say much in public, preferring to let results speak for themselves, but he is very passionate about what he does and has brushed off countless offers to join other teams because he wants to see the Lotus F1 Team become successful again. This is hardly surprising given that Allison has been with the team for much of his 22-year career in the sport. He joined the team (then Benetton) after graduating from Cambridge in 1991. He was then lured away to join Robin Herd’s Larrousse UK Ltd for a couple of years before returning to the mother ship and moving up to become head of aerodynamics. He then followed his heart to Ferrari for a five-year contract, during some of the Italian team’s glory years and then went back to Enstone (by then known as Renault) and played a fairly important role in the team’s World Championships in 2005 and 2006, becoming technical director in 2009. He has stuck with the team through the tough times since then and is credited with having played a very significant part in the recent revival. Having been to Ferrari and being rather too much of an old school style racer to fit into the corporate ways down in Woking, Allison’s logical career path has been to stay where he is and lead the team to success, which is apparently what he wants to do. Much depends, of course, on money and thus his fate is not entirely in his own hands, but if Gerard Lopez and Eric Boullier can keep things on an even keel and supply him with a decent budget, he will produce the goods. The fact that he apparently intends to stay where he is suggest that he has sufficient faith in the ownership and management that all is well. This can only be a good sign for the team – and for the sport. After a promising year in 2012 Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean will be back and hope to have an even better car than last year.
Stability at Enstone
January 28, 2013 by Joe Saward