James Allison, Technical Director of Mercedes-AMG, is a long time Formula Student ambassador.
James was promoted to Head of Aerodynamics in 1997 and, just two years later, swapped Enstone for Maranello and the new role of Trackside Aerodynamicist with Scuderia Ferrari, playing an important role in a period of unprecedented spell of success, as the team won six World Constructors’ Championships between 1999 and 2004.
After six years in Italy, James returned to the United Kingdom and a familiar home at Enstone, now under the Renault name, taking on the role of Deputy Technical Director. With young Spaniard Fernando Alonso at the wheel, Renault were the team to beat – taking top honours in the Constructors’ Championship in 2005 and 2006.
James was promoted to Technical Director in 2009 and remained with the team as it transitioned to new ownership and the new name of Lotus F1 Team, fighting back to the top step of the podium in 2012 with Kimi Räikkonen scoring the team’s first win in four years in Abu Dhabi.
2013 saw James head back to Ferrari, this time as Technical Director. After a fruitless year for the team in 2014, James’ influence was crucial as Sebastian Vettel claimed three wins the following year, when the Scuderia emerged as the closest challenger to the title-winning Silver Arrows.
James departed Ferrari midway through the 2016 season and returns to the Formula One grid this year, joining Mercedes AMG-Petronas Motorsport as Technical Director.
He said: “Formula Student graduates all arrive with us buzzing from what they’ve done at Formula Student and wanting to see if the ideas they had and the approaches they took on can translate onto an F1 car. It’s the experience of engineering in a close-knit team that’s so valuable to us. The energy that Formula Student graduates bring to our team reminds us what a great job we have, and that we’re lucky to be doing this.”