A major change at Brixworth

Our spies in Mercedes-Benz circles tell us that there is about to be a major restructuring in the technical management of Mercedes-Ilmor in Brixworth - the organisation that designs and builds the Mercedes-Benz F1 engines - with a new engineering director taking control of the entire technical operation of the business. We understand that there will be an interim period during which Mario Illien will remain as technical director but he will stand down at the end of the year and is expected to leave the firm that he founded 22 years ago with the late Paul Morgan.

We hear that the man who will take the reins at Brixnorth will be DaimlerChrysler research engineer Dipl.-Ing. Markus Duesmann, who in recent years has worked at Mercedes-Benz on the development of a new 3-litre V6 diesel engine. Prior to that he was employed by the automotive engineering firm FEV Motorentechnik GmbH in Aachen, working on advanced engine development projects, including a patent for fully variable mechanical valve gear for internal combustion engines.

Ironically this week Duesmann is due to attend the 26th International Vienna Motor Symposium where the top Ferrari F1 engineers will deliver a paper on simulation and testing techniques in F1 while Duesmann will talk about advanced diesel engine design.

The appointment undermines the much-flogged rumours that Mercedes-Benz is getting bored of its involvement in F1. If the Stuttgart firm is willing to put one of its brightest young engineers into the programme, it obviously has plans to be around for the long term.

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