Andy Shovlin has been promoted to the role of chief driver engineer at Mercedes GP for 2011, according to reports.
Earlier this month, as it emerged that both Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will have new race engineers next season, we reported that Briton Shovlin “will have a more general engineering role next year”.
This year, Shovlin – who worked alongside Jenson Button when the Briton won the 2009 title with the Brackley based team – was Schumacher’s race engineer.
But it is believed the seven time world champion will be engineered next season by long time McLaren man Mark Slade, who arrives from Renault after working with Vitaly Petrov.
“We are changing the organisation in the same direction as Ferrari,” Schumacher is quoted by the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.
At Ferrari, Schumacher was engineered by Chris Dyer, but the Australian then moved on to his current role with the Italian team of chief track engineer.
Schumacher confirmed: “There will be a chief engineer responsible for both the drivers.”
Asked about his targets for the second year of his F1 comeback, the German said: “I believe next year I can be going for the podium in some races, but that it is still too early for the championship.
“Our technical differences to the top teams has been reduced, but not quite enough,” he conceded.
French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet wrote in his latest Auto Plus column that he believes the W01 car’s successor has been fired up for the first time at Brackley.
On the other hand, Auto Motor und Sport in Germany reports that Adrian Newey is once again late with his new Red Bull design, due to delaying final decisions about how to integrate the heavy components for KERS.
© RIF | GMM