- Lotus news
Lotus confirms Allison's departure
James Allison is set to step down as Lotus technical director as he prepares for a move to a rival team.
Allison will be replaced by Nick Chester who has been at Enstone for over a decade and will step up from his role as engineering director. Allison's next destination is still unknown, but after Lotus' recent success he is in high demand and is likely to be heading to another top team such as Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull or Mercedes.
"We are pleased to announce Nick Chester as our next technical director," Lotus team principal Eric Boullier said. "Nick is well known to everyone at Enstone having been with the team for over twelve years. He is already directly involved with this and next year's cars, ensuring a smooth transition which has been underway for some time.
"It's an illustration of the strength and breadth of talent at Enstone that we can draw on personnel of the calibre of Nick and it's something of an Enstone tradition for new technical directors to be promoted from within. 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. As a team and individually, we would all like to thank James Allison for his efforts during his three stints at Enstone and wish him all the best in his future endeavours."
Chester added: "I have worked at Enstone for over twelve years and am delighted to take on the role of Technical Director. I am grateful to the management at Enstone for the faith they have in promoting me to this position. I am very aware of our need to keep pushing development of this year's E21 whilst developing next year's car to a set of very different regulations. There are some exciting times ahead for Enstone and I'm honoured to be part of it."
There have been a number of high-profile moves among Formula One's top technical staff recently, with Paddy Lowe creating headlines at the start of the season when he stepped down as McLaren's technical director to head for Mercedes. McLaren then promoted Tim Goss to technical director, while rumours persist that Ross Brawn will make way at Mercedes for Lowe.