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James Allison set to leave Lotus

Lotus’ technical director James Allison has said that he is going to step down and leave Lotus. Meanwhile, Lotus’ head of vehicle performance, Nick Chester, gains a promotion to fill Allison’s former role. James Allison is regarded to be one of the best technical directors in Formula 1 today and it is unfortunate for Lotus that he is leaving, but it is a joy for whichever team can snatch him up. Apparently, James Allison has already turned down an offer from McLaren, but it seems that he has also been approached by Ferrari, Williams and Mercedes.

James Allison’s news about leaving would have been a big blow to Lotus who are in fact doing quite well so far this season as they have a driver who is currently one of the world’s best, Kimi Räikkönen. The Finnish driver is second in the driver standings behind Sebastian Vettel who has won the Drivers Championship every year for the past three years. Not far behind Räikkönen is Britain’s and Mercedes’ very own Lewis Hamilton who hopes to put pressure on the top two drivers during this weekends Spanish Grand Prix.

Lotus’ other driver, Romain Grosjean, is also in the top 10 and has helped Lotus get into second place in the team rankings behind Red Bull. The Lotus team boss, Eric Boullier, has said the new technical director, Nick Chester, has already been working on the design for the 2014 car which needs to abide by the new regulations.

Boullier talked about Chester, “Nick is already directly involved with this and next year’s cars, ensuring a smooth transition which has been under way for some time. He assumes his new position at a tremendously exciting time for the sport. 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. Nick really has his work cut out, but we know he is more than capable of handling the tasks ahead.”

It is still unclear where James Allison is set to go, but he has been linked with Ferrari, Williams and Mercedes. If Allison is set to go to Ferrari, it would be his second job there as he used to work there in 2000, when Ferrari had Michael Schumacher and they were dominating Formula 1. Allison worked with Ferrari for 5 years before moving to Lotus to take up the position of deputy technical director and then he was promoted to technical director in 2009.

Author Daniel Foster.
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