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James Allison to join Mercedes as technical director in March

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Former Ferrari technical boss James Allison will start work at Mercedes on March 1, joining the world championship-winning team as its new technical director.

Allison arrives at Mercedes following the departure of Paddy Lowe earlier this year, who is set to join Williams in its most senior technical role. Allison will report directly to Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff and oversee the workings of the engineering group that has secured the last three constructors' and drivers' championships.

The news had been widely anticipated after Allison left his role at Ferrari last July and was put on a period of gardening leave. He was linked to a move back to Renault initially, where he had been technical director prior to his move to Ferrari, but in the end opted for a fresh start at Mercedes.

"I am very excited to be getting back to work after this time away from the sport," Allison said. "It's a massive privilege to be given the trust of a position in a team that has done so spectacularly well in the past three seasons. I am really looking forward to playing my part in helping Mercedes go from strength to strength in the coming years.

Wolff added: "I am delighted to welcome James to Mercedes and very much looking forward to working with him. Our technical team is extremely skilled at every level and at the top of its game after delivering three world championships in a row.

"It wasn't an easy task to find the right personality who can strengthen our experienced group of engineers, give our talented young team members space to develop and also bring his own vision to this role. James is a sharp engineer; I think we ave found the perfect guy and the right fit with our senior leaders."

Allison's start date of March 1 means he will join the team midway through the opening test of the 2017 season. Although he will join too late to influence the initial development of the new W08, he will be able to start working towards the team's 2018 car from the ground up with the benefit of F1's new technical regulations being better understood.

Allison is expected to work alongside fellow ex-Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa, who is Mercedes' current engineering director, and former Red Bull technical director Geoff Willis, who is Mercedes' technology director.