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Mercedes

The key F1 personnel Mercedes has lost in recent seasons

Mercedes is enduring a difficult run of form on the race track and has also been forced to contend with a number of key Formula 1 personnel being poached in recent years.

Hamilton Bahrain 2024
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

The Mercedes Formula 1 team has endured a challenging number of seasons - ever since the introduction of new technical regulations in 2022, the Brackley-based squad has slipped back in the pecking order.

Prior to the rule change, Mercedes was a formidable force at the head of the field, winning championships every year from 2014 to 2021.

As well as its slump down the competitive ladder, Mercedes has also been forced to deal with several key senior losses.

But who are the major personnel that have exited the team, and where are they now?

Andy Cowell

Although Cowell’s exit came before 2022, he is still significant enough to place on this list. Cowell worked as the managing director at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and played a vital role in its successful power unit that launched in 2014. After stepping away from the company in early 2021, Cowell has not yet linked up with another F1 project.

Mike Elliott

Elliott rose through the engineering ranks at Mercedes after joining in 2012 and found himself in the technical director role midway through the 2021 campaign. With Mercedes suffering for performance at the turn of the regulations, he transitioned to chief technical officer last year in a reshuffle before departing the squad altogether at the end of the season.

Ben Hodgkinson

Hodgkinson was a long-time employee of Mercedes, working in its HPP division for over 20 years. The final role he held was head of mechanical engineering before moving to Red Bull Powertrains as technical director.

Eric Blandin

Having endured stints at Red Bull and Ferrari, Blandin joined Mercedes in 2011 and became its chief aerodynamicist in 2017. Midway through Mercedes’ struggle-filled 2022 campaign, Blandin left to join Aston Martin in the role of deputy technical director - a position he remains in today.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

James Vowles

Much of Vowles’ career was spent at Brackley, starting at the BAR squad that eventually transitioned to Mercedes. Vowles last held the role of motorsport strategy director before joining Williams last year as team principal, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Grove-based squad.

Lewis Hamilton

It was perhaps the biggest shock of all. Shortly before the start of the 2024 season, Hamilton, who had turned Mercedes into something of a family through his years of unparalleled success with the team, announced he would leave the team at the end of the season. The Briton will link up with Ferrari and Charles Leclerc in 2025 in pursuit of a new challenge.

Loic Serra

Joining Hamilton at Ferrari will be Mercedes’ performance director Serra. The Frenchman has been an integral part of Mercedes’ outfit across the last 14 years - and RacingNews365 understands that Hamilton’s decision to join Ferrari was heavily influenced by the Italian squad’s poaching of Serra.

Jerome d’Ambrosio

D’Ambrosio, who is a former F1 driver himself, has not been present at the Mercedes organisation for long. Holding the role of driver development director, the 20-time grand prix stood in for Toto Wolff as team principal at two races during 2023 - however, from 2025 he will take up the deputy team principal position at Ferrari.

Gioacchino Vino

Mercedes' most recent senior exit was confirmed at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Vino has worked as the squad’s chief aerodynamicist since October 2022. The Italian will serve a six month gardening leave before he is eligible to take on another role within F1.

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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