In Brief

F1: Mercedes reveal technical team changes for 2019

Aldo Costa and Mark Ellis will leave their roles at the end of the campaign

Formula 1 world champions Mercedes have announced a technical leadership shake-up for next season, F1.com reports.

The Northamptonshire-based team will shuffle their pack with key personnel Aldo Costa and Mark Ellis leaving their positions. Italian engineering director Costa steps into a consultancy role from 2019 and will be replaced by John Owen, the current chief designer. Owen will report to technical director James Allison.

British performance director Ellis has decided to retire and will “take a sabbatical from the middle of next season”. Current chief vehicle dynamicist Loic Serra will take over from Ellis as performance director at the end of this season.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: “This is a significant moment for our team and a great opportunity. We have said many times that you cannot freeze a successful organisation. It is a dynamic structure and I am proud that we are able to hand the baton smoothly to the next generation of leaders inside the team.

“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. 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 car 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.”

Wolff added: “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.

“Mark and Aldo have both helped to shape the timing and manner of these changes, and the team’s future is very bright with John, Loic and our entire technical leadership working under James’s direction.”

Mercedes have won 267 points from ten races so far this season and are second in the constructors’ standings, 20 points behind Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are second and fifth in the drivers’ standings respectively. 

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