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Ferrari recruits James Allison as chassis technical director

Jul 29, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Germany F1 GP Auto Racing AP

Ex-Lotus man James Allison has a new home with an old driver of his. The former technical director at Lotus will become Ferrari’s chassis technical director as of September 1; he’ll make his debut in red at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Allison will work with Pat Fry, who will serve as Ferrari’s director of engineering. In May, Ferrari had denied approaching Allison for a role with the team.

The move reunites him with Fernando Alonso. They worked together at Renault last decade, and together won the 2005 and 2006 World Championships. After Allison’s departure from Lotus, Alonso spoke highly of him.

“I worked very closely with him and was world champion with him two times,” Alonso told the BBC. “Then I came back to Renault in 2008 – and in 2009, he was already technical director and we were not so successful with that car. But we saw the Lotus car in the last two years and there is no secret that he’s one of the top men here and we will see what future he has.”

There’s still 10 more races left in 2013 for Alonso to claw back the 39-point gap to Sebastian Vettel. It’s not impossible as Vettel proved a year ago, when he trailed Alonso by 42 after the 11th round of the season at Hungary, and with only nine races left.

But Allison’s task will be to help turn the Ferrari into a car capable of performing better on Saturdays, so that it can take the fight to Red Bull, Lotus and Mercedes on Sundays.

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