Last week it was reported that James Allison would return to the F1 frontline, and thousands of Mercedes fans celebrated in unison. He would be switching roles with Mike Elliott and returning as Technical Director, and many are hopeful he’ll be able to turn the team back to its winning ways.
James moved to the far less-track-based role of Chief Technical Officer in mid-2021, and in his first interview since returning to the role, he explained the reasons why he had to step away at the time.
Talking on F1’s own F1 Nation Podcast, it was suggested that he was very much done with the role in 2021. He replied: “That was very real. I don’t know how much your listeners would care to hear this, but a lot of that goes back to the long and very tragic shadow cast by my wife dying.
“And being lucky enough a few years later to meet somebody else, who at the time was living in France and working in France and had all her life in France and had done for 20 years or so.
“When she kindly, some would say foolishly, agreed to come and cast her lot in with me so that we could live together, she was giving up an awful lot. It seemed a little unfair from my point of view to cast her adrift and say, ‘thanks for coming over to England, I’ll see you five minutes a week.’
“Stepping back from the frontline role of technical director allowed some space for our relationship to flourish that would’ve been tough otherwise. But that was over two years ago now that Chloe moved over.
“And she has some roots in this country now, being her own thing that doesn’t depend on my face, so it’s much more believable, much more possible now, to do this than it would’ve been two and a bit years ago.”
He did it for love – this is the most heartwarming thing we’ve read this year; where can we find that? 🥺
Are you happy to see James Allison return to his role?