OCTOBER 2, 2002
Honda's F1 management shake-up
As we exclusively predicted last week, Honda is having a major reshuffle of its Formula 1 staff with Toru Ogawa, the executive chief engineer of Honda R&D Ltd., who is also the project leader for engine development, being replaced by Takeo Kiuchi. Ogawa will move to become head of new technology research for production engines, notably with hybrid vehicles.
Kazutoshi Nishizawa, the technical director of Honda R&D and the project leader for chassis technology development, is also moving on to a new job as head of the development division for mainstream road car engines. His role will be taken over by Ken Hashimoto, who is already involved in Honda's chassis programs with BAR. His deputy, however, Kiyoyuki Doi is also being moved to road car programs.
Kiuchi is a highly experienced Formula 1 engineer, having worked on the Honda F1 program in the 1980s. His major claim to fame was that he was Ayrton Senna's motor engineer for several seasons. Since 1992 he has been working as project leader of hybrid development at Honda R&D and has played an important role in the development of the Insight hybrid engine which has achieved 83 miles per gallon from a one-liter engine.
Honda sources are playing down the reshuffle, saying it is "a usual rotation" but it seems a little more than that.
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