“That was what was playing on my mind”– James Allison, who recently stepped down from his Mercedes post before getting a promotion.
In his stint as the technical director of Mercedes, James Allison received immense success, but he eventually felt that his tenure as a technical director in 2021 was superfluous.
So, nothing more to achieve; Allison thought of stepping down from his post, as he wanted to save himself from an embarrassment because of a potential failure from his side.
Though Mercedes staying loyal to him, in the end, he received a promotion and created a new post for him as the chief technical officer. But amidst all of this, Allison explained his decision.
“I wanted to make sure that I could be true to this team, to make sure that I committed to being a technical director over a period where I could earn my salt but not to outstay my welcome, and to know when the right time to step away was,” he said.
“I would much rather that was done while I was still useful than becoming an old embarrassment, and that was what was playing on my mind at the time.
“During the period I was really comfortable and confident to commit to as technical director, we have been collectively working to make sure that the transition from me to Mike would be a success,” he added.
“And would give the company all the benefits that would come from the vigour of a new set of hands in charge.”
It is the right thing.
Before disclosing his decision to Toto Wolff, Allison thought he would have to leave Mercedes, but that didn’t happen. Yet, irrespective of his stay, Allison is confident that his decision was right.
“I’m sure it is the right thing to do, but a huge part of me is screaming at me saying, ‘what on earth are you are doing?’” he said. “It is definitely the right thing for me, and it is definitely the right thing for the team. The second of those two is the more important.
“I’m pretty sure that I will be able to look back at this golden period that I have been lucky enough to have late in my F1 career, and think how lucky I was to fall in with this group of people at this time and be part of what is arguably the most successful and amazing Formula 1 team that there has ever been.”