Russell defends Elliott after reshuffle: “There’s never one person accountable"

George Russell has defended former Mercedes F1 technical director Mike Elliott following the team’s decision to draft in James Allison.
Russell defends Elliott after reshuffle: “There’s never one person accountable

Mercedes announced their technical reshuffle during the break between Australia and Azerbaijan, with Allison returning to the team as technical director.

Elliott takes up Allison’s old job as chief technical officer - effectively the pair have swapped jobs.

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The change comes after Mercedes’ sluggish start to F1 2023, scoring just one podium in the opening three rounds of the season.

Like teammate Lewis Hamilton, Russell welcomed the return of Allison, but appeared to defend Elliott given the backlash he has received from some fans for the performance of the W14 and last year’s W13.

“I think it’s really good news, to be honest, because, obviously, Mike was the technical director and James was overseeing a few different projects. And now, effectively, we’ve got both of them full-time,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“Mike is one of, if not the most, intelligent blokes I’ve ever come across in my life. But I think placing him in this new role will really put him in his element.

“When it comes to a team sport, not just drivers, but managing 2000 people or talking about a football team, you need to get your best players in the right positions to get the overall team result.

“Effectively, that’s what this change has been so I think, in both regards, we’ve probably put both where they belong.”

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain,
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Russell reiterated that Mercedes’ stuttering form was the result of the team not performing, not just one individual. 

“It is absolutely teamwork,” he added. “There are a number of people who contribute towards the overall decisions and feedback into the rest of the factory on the direction that we take, and James was involved in some of those conversations and decisions in the past.

“But it’s how the game goes, this was a team decision. Obviously, Lewis was saying you win and lose together and that’s truly how it is. There’s never one person accountable for any success or any failure - it is always the team.” 

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