Williams recruits top R&D man

Williams F1 has hired Dr John Davis from Minardi. Davis will become "Aerodynamic Facilities Development Engineer" and it is expected that his first task will be to oversee the design and the construction of the Williams team's second windtunnel. Davis is a highly-experienced F1 "boffin" who first became involved in the sport 20 years ago when teams started using the Imperial College windtunnel, where he was working on his doctorate. This led to a job with Team Lotus and in the years that followed he worked with Gerard Ducarouge and Ayrton Senna. He then moved to Lotus Engineering and helped Peter Wright to develop active suspension before Wright took him back to Team Lotus in 1990. Two years later Ducarouge asked him to be head of research and development at Ligier and he stayed there until 1994 after which he worked for Pi Research and then with the Patrick Racing CART team before returning to F1 with Jordan in 1996. He stayed for three years but then went to Arrows and from there to Minardi.

Davis's recruitment is probably the result of his relationship with Sam Michael - the two men having worked together at Jordan. It is significant in that it marks the second major aerodynamics engineer to be recruited by the team this year, following in the footsteps of Dr Antonia Terzi, formerly at Ferrari.

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