Aldo Costa was the assistant to Ferrari’s chief Formula 1 designer, Rory Byrne, from 1998 to 2004. When Byrne announced his retirement in 2004, it was Costa who was named by Ferrari as Byrne’s successor.

As such, Costa worked closely with driver Michael Schumacher and technical director Ross Brawn. Costa, Byrne, Schumacher and Brawn were the driving force behind Ferrari F1’s return to victory in the late 1990s, culminating in constructor’s championships in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

While Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher ultimately gravitated to the Mercedes GP team, Costa remained with Ferrari and worked his way up to technical director before getting fired in July. Someone had to take the blame for Ferrari’s poorer-than-expected performance in recent years, and Costa was a likely candidate.

As the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens. In Costa’s case, the opening door just happened to be at Mercedes GP, where he’ll join former teammates Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher in attempting to sort the bugs out of the Mercedes MGP W02 chassis.

Costa won’t officially join the team until December, so he won’t have an impact on Mercedes GP’s performance for the five races remaining on the 2011 calendar. As Mercedes GP’s newest director of engineering, Costa will have a very busy off season, as he works to deliver a chassis capable of consistent podium finishes.

It’s clear that Mercedes GP has the talent to win races, and now it becomes Costa’s job to deliver a car capable of doing just that.