Technical directors on the move?

FEBRUARY is traditionally the time of year when a number of F1 technical directors have contracts which run out. February is chosen because one design project is over and the cars will soon be raced - and the next design has yet to begin. Thus it is not impossible that we will see some action within the next couple of weeks, particularly as some teams are rather disappointed with the performance of the 2002 cars in testing.

One man who is definitely on the market is France's Henri Durand, the technical director of Prost Grand Prix. Durand spent 10 years at McLaren and so working in England is not an issue for him.

Another man who may be looking around is Arrows technical director Mike Coughlan. The English engineer joined the team with John Barnard in 1997. He became technical director and in February 1999 the team announced that he had signed a three-year deal with Arrows. There has been no word since then as to whether or not the deal is to be renewed.

Stability is obviously an important issue for any team and so logic dictates that Tom Walkinshaw will do everything he can to sign up Coughlan on a new contract although the team has had a frustrating time in recent years and Coughlan might be tempted to go elsewhere if there are any jobs available. The problem right now is that there are no obvious vacancies. There may be some coming up when the new cars have been raced...

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