Technical director Allison leaves Lotus F1 team

James Allison

James Allison

Highly-rated technical director James Allison is leaving Lotus and will be replaced by Nick Chester, the Formula One team said on Wednesday.

The announcement before the first race of the European season in Spain this weekend will be seen as a blow for Finnish Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion who is second in the standings to Red Bull‘s Sebastian Vettel.

Allison has been with British-based Lotus, previously Renault, since 2005 after previous stints in the 1990s when they raced as Benetton.

No details were given about his likely destination, although early speculation focused heavily on Ferrari.

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 celebrates with James Allison (GBR) Lotus F1 Technical Director. Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday 22 April 2012.

James Allison with Kimi Raikkonen

Allison worked for the Italian team for five years – during Michael Schumacher’s dominant years – overseeing trackside aerodynamic operations prior to joining Renault.

Chester was previously Lotus’s engineering director. He worked for now-defunct Arrows before moving to the Enstone factory in 2000.

“He is already directly involved with this and next year’s cars, ensuring a smooth transition which has been underway for some time,” said team principal Eric Boullier.

“The 2014 technical regulation changes present many challenges, while our current position of second place in both the constructors’ and drivers’ world championships mean we cannot lose sight of this year’s development battle,” he added.

“Nick really has his work cut out, but we know he is more than capable of handling the tasks ahead.” (Reuters)

  • Butterfly

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up at Ferrari six months from now.

  • K-15-

    I am sure the money and politics of a certain RED (not red bull) team is behind this. By taking out Allison, they nullified Kimi challenge of 2013 and got themselves a good designer for 2014 for the eye-brow man..Bye Bye Pat Fry.

  • Butterfly

    Yeah, genius, it’s politics to want the best people in your team. Sure.

    Are you Hungarian by any chance? There are a couple of angry Hungarian trolls around here at Yalla, so I was wondering if you’re from the same country…

  • K-15-

    No butterfly buddy.. i am from the third world with a lot of common sense.

  • Nemo Nobody

    Ferrari is saying , in other words, that Fernando can’t win with an slightly inferior car! He must have the best one :)

  • James

    Red Bull and Vettel have Adrian Newey, so there’s nothing wrong for Ferrari and Alonso to have James Allison…

    Every company/corporations would only employ the best candidate in order to gain the edge over their adversary

  • Tinto

    Lauda has lobbied for Allison luring him to Mercedes.