By Abhishek Takle
HOCKENHEIM, Germany (Reuters) - Ferrari have split with technical director James Allison in a mutual decision, the Formula One team announced on Wednesday, in a move which could deal a big blow to their title ambitions.
"Ferrari announces that after three years of working together, Scuderia Ferrari and James Allison jointly decided to part ways," the team said in a statement ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix.
Mattia Binotto will fill the role of Chief Technical Officer, the statement said.
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Briton Allison joined the glamor team in September 2013 from the Enstone-based Lotus outfit, which is now Renault, and had worked at the Maranello-based squad under technical director Ross Brawn during the Michael Schumacher years.
The highly-regarded 48-year-old was seen as the man to spearhead a turnaround in the fortune of the sport’s most successful team who have endured a few difficult years.
"During the years I spent at Ferrari, at two different stages and covering different roles, I could get to know and appreciate the value of the team and of the people, women and men, which are part of it," Allison said in the statement.
"I want to thank them all for the great professional and human experience we shared. I wish everybody a happy future with lots of success."
Allison lost his wife to meningitis earlier this year and
reports since have hinted he was keen to move back to the UK to spend more time with his three children.
Ferrari, who have not won a driver's title since Kimi Raikkonen's 2007 triumph, bounced back from a winless 2014 campaign with three victories last year, becoming the only team other than dominant Mercedes to triumph.
They struggled to build on that form and are currently second in the constructors’ championship -- without a win and in danger of slipping back to third with resurgent Red Bull just one point behind.
"The team would like to thank James for his commitment and sacrifice during the time spent together, and wishes him success and serenity for his future endeavors," team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said.
Ferrari's current drivers are four-time champion Sebastian Vettel and Finn Raikkonen.
(Reporting by Abhishek Takle; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)