Valtteri Bottas’ 2018 race engineer has switched over to Formula E for the upcoming season, meaning the Finn will race with a new engineer in 2019.
Tony Ross, the engineer that backed Nico Rosberg during the German driver’s World Championship in 2016, has been Valtteri Bottas’ engineer since the Finn replaced Rosberg at the end of that year. However, the partnership hasn’t been quite as fruitful as the Rosberg/Ross pairing, and Ross has decided to move on. Remaining under the Mercedes motorsport umbrella, Ross has switched to HWA Racelab – a placeholder team before the full Mercedes AMG entry next year. HWA’s drivers are Gary Paffett & 2018 McLaren racer Stoffel Vandoorne.
The new season, the fifth season of Formula E, sees new, faster, ‘Gen2’ cars being used for the first time. The first race takes place in Saudi Arabia in two weeks time, meaning very little downtime for Ross before his new season begins.
“Tony Ross is going to be the chief race engineer of our Formula E programme,” said Wolff after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. “He’s going to dash off into a funny environment with only one race day and funky cities.
“Who replaces him? We’re discussing that. That was a bit of a lie but… give me a few weeks.”
Ross joined Mercedes from Williams in 2011 and, after eight years working with Mercedes AMG, Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin praised him for all his hard work in helping cement Merc’s status at the top of F1: “I’d… like to thank Tony Ross for all his hard work over the last eight years. He has contributed so much to the past five constructors’ championships, and Nico’s driver’s championship, so we will all be sad to see him go, but happy we’ve had the chance to enjoy so much success together.”