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Cowell undecided on future

NEWS STORY
27/08/2020

Much as one may hate the term 'new normal', the fact is that the global pandemic has changed life for almost everyone, and for many of us it will never be the same again.

For Mercedes engine boss, Andy Cowell it was almost Damascene, the Briton admitting that it was 'Project Pitlane', the project that saw seven of the UK-based F1 teams join forces and use their technical knowledge to assist with the fight against the virus, that caused him to reassess his life.

"That lit the bonfire in my belly," he tells the official F1 website's Beyond the Grid podcast, "and got my head thinking every second of the day about CPAPs and anything else that Project Pitlane was about.

"That's the challenge that I want going forward," he continues. "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," he admits, "but hopefully it will give me a nice big challenge. Hopefully I can help companies and organisations, and people.

"From the age of 5, motorsport has been a huge, huge part of my life," says Cowell who joined Cosworth straight from university, going on to head the team responsible for the CK engine before joining BMW Motorsport. A further stint with Cosworth was followed by a move to Mercedes-Ilmor in 2004, the rest - as they say - is history.

"Motorsport will always be a part of my life," he continues, "but what part, that's the thing to sort out.

"I was keen, talking to Ola (Kallenius), 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. So, I've got September, October, November and December to make a decision, and make a call then.

"Mercedes is a company that I'm hugely proud to have worked for," he concludes. "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."

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