Today, Mercedes confirmed that the managing director of their high-performance powertrains, Andy Cowell, would be stepping down from his role. The Brit will stay on during the transition period as Hywel Thomas will take over the managing director position.
According to Mercedes, Cowell ‘’will consult to Mercedes-Benz AG on a major future project until at least early 2021.’’
The new management team is to be led by Hywel Thomas, who will be appointed Managing Director with direct responsibility for the F1 Power Unit, as well as Adam Allsopp [powertrain Director], Richard Stevens [operations director] and Ronald Ballhaus [finance and IT director].
Andy Cowell was very much the main man on the power unit side for Mercedes in the turbo-hybrid era in Formula 1 and has led them to remarkable success: six straight Drivers’ and Constructors Championships’ means he leaves an incredible legacy at Mercedes and on Formula 1.
Cowell is seeking a ‘’new engineering business challenge’’ as he steps down from the position.
Andy Cowell: “After 16 enjoyable years working for HPP, I have decided that now is the right time to move on from my role and seek a new engineering business challenge. I have appreciated the opportunity to work with Markus and Toto in defining the future leadership structure of the company and I have every confidence in the ability of Hywel and the team to lead the company forward. It has been an absolute honour to work for Mercedes and especially to be Managing Director of HPP for seven years. Thank you to everyone who has provided me with such amazing opportunities and enjoyable challenges, especially Ola Källenius who had the courage to support me back in 2006.”
Toto Wolff paid tribute to Cowell’s massive contribution to Mercedes’ success in Formula 1 in recent years and the strong position he leaves the team in.
Wolff: “Andy’s leadership of the team at HPP has been a key factor in our championship success in recent seasons. He has made an outstanding contribution to our motorsport legacy and I have valued and enjoyed our working relationship since 2013; I am sure he will enjoy great success in the next challenge he decides to take on. Our philosophy has always been that a winning team is a dynamic organisation, and that change is a natural part of every company’s development. I am particularly pleased that we have been able to work together to create a new leadership structure, by building on the strength in depth of the team in Brixworth. It puts us in a very strong position for the years ahead, as we aim to set new benchmarks in Formula One and Formula E.”