Amid speculation of the deal at the weekend, Ferrari have now announced that former Lotus Technical Director James Allison will join the Scuderia on September 1st. The appointment has caused a minor reshuffle of posts within the team, as current Technical Director, Pat Fry, will now take the title of Director of Engineering, as Allison is given the role of Chassis Technical Director.
For Allison, this is his second spell at Maranello. Throughout the late 1990’s, the Brit worked under the guidance of the then Technical Director, Ross Brawn. Here, he learnt his trade and developed as an engineer. Afterwards, Allison headed to Benetton in 2000 and was one of the key engineers which delivered Fernando Alonso his title winning machinery in 2005 and 2006. Promotion was Allison’s next step and soon he became Lotus’ Technical Director in 2009; A post which he held until his resignation back in May of this year. Consequently, Allison will surly fit into the Ferrari setup like a hand into a glove, having worked with many of the key figures, including Fernando Alonso, at previous stages of his career.
James’ arrival at Ferrari comes at a good time for the team. Following a significant downturn in form, rifts are beginning to appear within the Scuderia, while Fernando Alonso’s highly critical stance has not been welcomed. Allison’s guidance and ideas will be a valuable asset to Ferrari, perhaps not this season, but certainly in the crucial 2014. Given that his introduction to the team is happening at this stage of the season, it is likely that his focus will be on the development of the 2014 car, which may stand Ferrari in good stead for next season. Allison may also have the capabilities of keeping Alonso quiet, which would certainly please his superiors.