Andy Cowell will leave Mercedes at the end of this season, after being part of the team since 2014. Cowell is the managing director of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrain (HPP) and he played a very important part in helping Mercedes to win six consecutive world championships both drivers and constructors, in the lasy six years.
"Mercedes is a company that I'm hugely proud to have worked for", said Cowell on F1's Beyond the Grid podcast. "The people here are an incredible group of people, and I'll miss them. But it's time for a change. Sixteen years feels like a long period of time doing largely the same thing".
"I like a clean sheet of paper challenge of design. I think my personality likes the thrill of being dropped into something that's challenging and scary".
Cowell is still unsure about what to do after leaving Mercedes, but he said that his role in Project Pitlane, that consisted in developing ventilators for Covid-19 patients, made him aware of the many possibilities.
"That lit the bonfire in my belly, and got my head thinking every second of the day about CPAPs and anything else that Project Pitlane was on about", Cowell said. "That's the challenge that I want going forward. I do class myself as having one of the best jobs on the planet at the moment. A lot of my friends, and especially my Mum thinks I'm as mad as a box of frogs to hand my notice in".
"Everyone is saying what are you going to do next? I'm not 100% certain yet, but hopefully it will give me a nice big challenge. Hopefully I can help companies and organisations, and people".
The Mercedes engineer explained eventually that he will use this season to think about his future.
"Right from the age of 5, motorsport has been a huge, huge part of my life," Cowell said. "Motorsport will always be a part of my life, but what part, that's the thing to sort out".
"I was keen talking to Ola [Kallenius, Mercedes CEO], that the transition for HPP was managed for the best interests of HPP. I was very keen that Hywel took over from the beginning of July".
"Markus [Schafer] and Ola asked me to stay until the second power unit was installed to try and help out, which takes us through to September".
"I've got September, October, November and December to make a decision, and make a call then", explained eventually Cowell.
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