APRIL 29, 2008
Former head of Lotus R&D joins Williams
Williams F1 has acquired a company called Automotive Hybrid Power Ltd, which was established at the end of 2006 in order to look at the technologies involved in the planned Kinetic Energy Recovery System which will be introduced in F1 next year. AHP has now become Williams Hybrid Power and its founder Ian Foley has moved his operations from Norwich to Grove.
Foley is high-powered engineer, who was working for Benetton in Formula 1 in the late 1980s. He then went to Team Lotus where he was head of research and development under Peter Wright. One of his junior employees at the time was Sam Michael, now technical director of Williams. After the collapse of Lotus in 1995 Foley went on to develop cars with the Lotus GT team, which employed Jan Lammers, amongst others. For a period Foley dropped out of racing and concentrated on property development but was then lured back by Lammers to run the technical side of the Racing for Holland sports car team, winning FIA titles in 2002 and 2003.
Since the team dropped out of sports car racing and went to A1GP instead, Foley decided to involve himself in other projects, notably KERS but also a system to accurately measure the speed of trains. The team believes that Foley's research will give then a head start in the race to get the most effective KERS system.