Lotus technical chief Allison to depart
8 May 2013 – James Allison has resigned as the Technical Director of Lotus, the outfit confirmed on Wednesday morning. The acclaimed engineer is to be replaced by Nick Chester, who has been a member of the team since the 2000 campaign.
Allison has experienced three phases at the Enstone-based team through its various guises, with his current spell spanning from Fernando Alonso's maiden title triumph in 2005. His future team has not yet been confirmed, although Mercedes and former employers Ferrari are standout candidates ahead of the regulation overhaul in 2014.
Chester, who has previously held the roles of Head of Performance Systems, Head of Vehicle Performance Group and Race Engineer at the squad, will be stepping up from his most recent position of Engineering Director to replace the departing Allison.
"We are pleased to announce Nick Chester as our next Technical Director," explained Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier. "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.
"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 said of his new role: "I have worked at Enstone for over 12 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."
Prior to his most recent phase at Lotus, Allison worked with the Enstone team when it was known as Benetton, initially from 1991-1992 and later from 1994-1999. From the 2000 campaign, the Cambridge graduate spent a five-year spell with Ferrari.