Lotus names Nick Chester Technical Director as James Allison leaves

Kimi Raikkonen, Malaysian GP 2013

Kimi Raikkonen, Malaysian GP 2013 

 © The Cahier Archive

In a potential blow to Kimi Raikkonen's chances at the 2013 title, Lotus Technical Director James Allison has left the Enstone team. Lotus has named Engineering Director Nick Chester to fill his role.

Allison has had previous stints with the team from 1991-1992 and 1994-1999, but most recently since 2005, and has been given much credit for the strong design performance of the team, which has allowed Kimi Raikkonen to win races last season and this season as well.

The strongest rumours see Allison going to McLaren to fill the hole left by Paddy Lowe - who departed for Mercedes earlier in the year, or see Allison returning to Ferrari.

Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier said, "We are pleased to announce Nick Chester as our next Technical Director. 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. It’s an illustration of the strength and breadth of talent at Enstone that we can draw on personnel of the calibre of Nick and it’s something of an Enstone tradition for new Technical Directors to be promoted from within. He assumes his new position at a tremendously exciting time for the sport. The 2014 technical regulation changes present many challenges, while our current position of second place in both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ World Championships mean we cannot lose sight of this year’s development battle. 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.”

Nick Chester said, "I have worked at Enstone for over twelve 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.”

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