Mercedes engine boss to step down

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during pre-season testing

Andy Cowell, Managing Director of the Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains company which builds the Formula 1 team’s engines, will leave at the end of the month.

Mercedes has dominated F1 during the hybrid era which began in 2014, claiming every drivers’ and constructors’ title in that time, and Mercedes-AMG HPP now also supplies its fledgling Formula E programme.

Cowell gave notice in January and Hywel Thomas has been selected to take over as Managing Director, with direct responsibility for the F1 Power Unit.

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff said, “Andy’s leadership of the team at HPP has been a key factor in our championship success in recent seasons.

“He has made an outstanding contribution to our motorsport legacy and I have valued and enjoyed our working relationship since 2013; I am sure he will enjoy great success in the next challenge he decides to take on.

“Our philosophy has always been that a winning team is a dynamic organisation, and that change is a natural part of every company’s development.

“I am particularly pleased that we have been able to work together to create a new leadership structure, by building on the strength in depth of the team in Brixworth.

“It puts us in a very strong position for the years ahead, as we aim to set new benchmarks in Formula One and Formula E.”

Cowell himself said that he had chosen to seek a new challenge.

“After 16 enjoyable years working for HPP, I have decided that now is the right time to move on from my role and seek a new engineering business challenge,” he explained.

“I have appreciated the opportunity to work with Markus (Schäfer, Mercedes-Benz Cars COO and HPP Non-Executive Chairman) and Toto in defining the future leadership structure of the company and I have every confidence in the ability of Hywel and the team to lead the company forward.

“It has been an absolute honour to work for Mercedes and especially to be Managing Director of HPP for seven years.

“Thank you to everyone who has provided me with such amazing opportunities and enjoyable challenges, especially Ola Källenius who had the courage to support me back in 2006.”

Cowell’s departure means that his former responsibilities will be shared amongst the senior leadership team.

As well as announcing Thomas’ promotion, HPP has named Adam Allsopp as Project One Powertrain Director, Richard Stevens as Operations Director, and Ronald Ballhaus as Finance and IT Director.

Pierre Godof remains in place as Formula E Powertrain Chief Engineer.

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