Nick Chester has been promoted to the Technical Director at the Lotus F1 Team, along with the team officially confirming the immediate departure of James Allison from the role.
Chester, 43, has been part of the Lotus F1 team since 2000, back when it was known as Benetton. A Cambridge University graduate like his predecessor Allison, Chester joined Nick Wirth’s Simtek Research organisation in the early 1990s, developing simulation software for BMW’s secret F1 project that ultimately happened.
Simtek Research elected to go it alone with their short-lived F1 team, and when that closed in 1995, Chester moved to the Arrows team, assuming several back office roles before becoming Pedro Diniz’s chassis engineer in 1997 and then Mika Salo’s engineer in 1998.
When he moved to Benetton – later Renault under its Renault guise – he served as engineer to Giancarlo Fisichella and Jarno Trulli. In 2005, he was promoted as the team’s Head of Performance Systems, and last year became the team’s Engineering Director.
“Nick is well known to everyone at Enstone having been with the team for over 12 years. He is already directly involved with this and next year’s cars, ensuring a smooth transition which has been underway for some time.
“It’s an illustration of the strength and breadth of talent at Enstone that we can draw on personnel of the calibre of Nick and it’s something of an Enstone tradition for new Technical Directors to be promoted from within. He assumes his new position at a tremendously exciting time for the sport.
“The 2014 technical regulation changes present many challenges, while our current position of second place in both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ World Championships mean we cannot lose sight of this year’s development battle.
“Nick really has his work cut out, but we know he is more than capable of handling the tasks ahead.
“As a team and individually, we would all like to thank James Allison for his efforts during his three stints at Enstone and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”