sport

Bell to depart Mercedes

Mercedes confirmed on Monday that Technical Director Bob Bell is to leave the team with joint boss Paddy Lowe taking over his role.

In a statement, Mercedes said that the 56-year-old Ulsterman resigned his position last December but will depart at end of the current season, 'with the intention of pursuing new challenges outside the company'.

The statement added that Bell's responsibilities will be picked up by Lowe as Mercedes 'streamline its technical organisation'.

Although Lowe's arrival at Brackley last year as Executive Director (Technical) alongside commercial boss Toto Wolff further strengthened the team's engineering strength, there had been suggestions that a roster of know-how already featuring Bell, Aldo Costa (Engineering Director), Geoff Willis (Technology Director) as well as Team Principal Ross Brawn was too top-heavy.

However, the team's current dominance of F1's new hybrid era offers a vindication of their approach, with Bell now joining Brawn - who departed at the end of last season - in stepping down.

He joined Mercedes in 2011 having previously worked for McLaren, Benetton, Jordan and Renault.

Bell served as Technical Director at the latter outfit and even had a brief stint as Team Principal in 2009, when the previous year's Singapore GP deliberate crash controversy forced Flavio Briatore's resignation.