DECEMBER 4, 2007
Force India beefs up its technical team
The Force India F1 team has hired Mark Smith and Ian Hall from Red Bull Racing and Toyota respectively. Smith will join the team as Design Director to work under the direction of Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne and alongside Technical Director James Key. He will take responsibility for the day to day running of the drawing office and all race car design, while Key will focus on research and development, vehicle science and development projects for the 2009 and other future cars. Smith was one of the founder members of the Jordan team (the basis on which Force India was built) and worked with Gascoyne at both Jordan and Renault.
Hall is another engineer who knows Gascoyne well. He worked with Smith and Gascoyne at Jordan before he moved to Toyota. He will be the project leader of the 2009 car, working closely with James Key. The work on the 2008 car will now be overseen by Akio Haga, who is currently head of mechanical design.
"It's great to have Mark and Ian back with the team, especially as both were instrumental in the successful Jordan era of 1999," said Gascoyne. "I have worked with both since then, with Mark at Renault and Ian at Toyota, and I am sure that they will fit very well into the new structure. The reorganisation comes at the same time the wind tunnel at Brackley has finished its commissioning process and is due to switch to 24 hour running. With these advantages we now have a great chance to expand our operations and I am confident we can move up the field very quickly next year."