Honda F1 website

JUNE 3, 2004

Changes in Brixworth

Within the next few days it is expected that a new structure will be announced at Mercedes-Ilmor in Brixworth. For some weeks the company has been overseen by former McLaren managing-director Martin Whitmarsh. Since then the former boss Hans-Ulrich Maik and technical chief Werner Laurenz have departed and the founder of the company Mario Illien has been put back in charge of all technical programmes and research and development. It is anticipated that a new administrator will be put in to run the company, in the hope of reviving the same kind of synergy that existed when Illien's co-founder Paul Morgan was alive. Morgan died in a private plane accident in May 2001 and the company has struggled to be competitive ever since. The takeover of the business by Mercedes-Benz seemed to hint at a more German feeling at the company but recent failures have suggested that this is not the way forward and it looks like Ilmor is moving back to a more traditional situation.

Although the Mercedes-Benz V10 has suffered a series of embarrassing failures in recent months it looks like the team has decided to adopt an aggressive strategy to try to bring the engines up to speed and then work on reliability when or if the performance is found.