Ferrari has boosted its technical lineup with the signing of James Allison.
Although the former Lotus technical director was widely expected to make the switch to Maranello ever since news of his departure from his previous team emerged, there were still a number of details that needed to be sorted out before a deal could be put in place. After several weeks of intense talks, however, the final issues have been resolved and that a deal is now complete. Confirmation of Allison’s appointment at Ferrari is expected soon, but is unlikely to happen before this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Allison’s arrival at Ferrari will be a boost to the Italian team that is chasing a lift in performance as it bids to secure a world championship title. Due to contractual issues with Lotus, however, Allison may not be able to start work at Ferrari until the start of next year as he serves out his required time off.
Ferrari’s lead driver Fernando Alonso will welcome the news of Allison’s arrival, having said before a deal was finalized that he would like to work again with the Briton.
“I worked very closely with him and was world champion with him two times,” said Alonso. “Then I came back to Renault in 2008-09; in 2009 he was already technical director and we were not so successful with that car, but we saw the Lotus car in the last two years and it is no secret that he’s one of the top men here and we will see what future he has.”
It is not clear what Allison’s exact job title will be, but he is likely to take a senior engineering director role working alongside current technical director Pat Fry to help reinforce the brainpower there. Ferrari has not yet made any official comment on the situation.
Allison enjoyed one of the most successful spells of his career at Ferrari, when he worked there for five seasons from 2000 during the dominant Michael Schumacher years.