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Andy Cowell steps down as Mercedes HPP managing director

  • Published on 15 Jun 2020 16:34
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes has announced the managing director of its High Performance Powertrains (HPP) division Andy Cowell will leave his role.

His responsibilities will be distributed among four individuals, with the main focus being on the Formula 1 power unit, the Formula E powertrain and the powertrain development and production of the Mercedes-AMG One.

Cowell will assist with the transition and will to Mercedes-Benz AG on a “major future project until at least early 2021”.

The Briton has overseen the development of the Mercedes power unit, which has played a large part in the Silver Arrows' current run of success in F1.

Cowell took on the role of Mercedes HPP anaging director in 2013, having worked as its engineering and programme director since 2008.

"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,” Cowell said.

“I have appreciated the opportunity to work with Markus 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."

Mercedes has outlined the new leadership of HPP, which will consist of;

Hywel Thomas, who will be appointed as the managing director and will hold direct responsibility for the F1 Power Unit
Adam Allsopp, Project One powertrain director and reporting directly to Markus Schäfer on Project One
- Operations director Richard Stevens and finance and IT director, Ronald Ballhaus.

Mercedes added that Formula E Powertrain chief engineer Pierre Godof “will continue to lead development for the all-electric racing series”.

Mercedes team principal and CEO 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 1 and Formula E."

Replies (6)

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  • hhmmm, not sure what to make fo this.......would this be like Newey departing RBH? It doesn't feel a good thing to me.

    • + 0
    • Jun 15 2020 - 16:50
    • siggy74

      Posts: 194

      mmm, well a big loss of a guy, who steered the engine Development Team....

      Or seen as a change of guard, for a new engine direction and idea`s....

      Looks like he will be working under a hand over program, with Merc until next year...

      Wouldn't be surprised to see him @ AML, Later next year ;p

      • + 0
      • Jun 15 2020 - 17:57
  • I'm not surprised he's leaving... this things happen all the time after massive success. However, the timing is what seems odd to me. I thought it might have to do with the new CEO, but he even thanked him in his departure message. Of course, the cynic in me thinks it might be to save face, but still.

    That being said, I think Mercedes will not suffer from his departure in 2020 or 2021. After that with new regulations... maybe. But I thought maybe Andy Cowell was interested in the 2021 challenge.

    • + 0
    • Jun 15 2020 - 21:25
    • Th cynical pr**k in me would usually concur, however I think the reason for why this feels odd is down to random timing. I've heard nothing indicating bad relations in Merc', and I think Cowell's been honest enough before that chances are he actually felt done.

      • + 0
      • Jun 16 2020 - 06:51
  • I feel he can with ease be compared to Newey. It says a lot to me when one bloke has to be replaced with many. I hope he stays in F1 somehow.

    • + 0
    • Jun 16 2020 - 06:53
  • RogerF1

    Posts: 501

    I’m with siggy74 on this one, there has to be a fair bet he will pop up in AML, especially for when they take on the team brand. Their new V6 is a road engine, maybe the brand would benefit more if they had their own F1 V6 as well as a ‘flagship’ powertrain. Will be interesting though to see how the development of the road V6 fairs with the new ex-Merc head at the helm and will this weaken or strengthen the ties with the Merc V8 Powertrain they buy in now. My other take on this is maybe he saw limited scope for “exceptional world beating technical excellence “ under the new budget caps and there would significant reduction in budgets for development. As in so many other business types in the same situation, there comes a shift to not finding new components/technology at high cost but how to make existing parts/technology cheaper - not so rewarding.

    • + 0
    • Jun 16 2020 - 11:38

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