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DECEMBER 6, 2005

Movement at McLaren

McLaren's Vehicle Project Director Nick Tombazis is reported to have left the team after only 18 months. Tombazis joined McLaren from Ferrari in April 2004 to work on car design but McLaren already head chief designer Mike Coughlan in place in addition to executive engineering director Neil Oatley. Soon after his arrival, the technical team was reshuffled with Paddy Lowe being put in charge of vehicle design, aerodynamics, simulation and race engineering, while Tombazis found himself in more of an administrative role. Given the speed with which he has departed it seems likely that the decision was mutual agreement as McLaren tends to fight hard when it wnats to keep an engineer. The departure and that of Adrian Newey will have no immediate effect on the team as the MP4-21 is finished and now going into production. Success in Formula 1 has a downside as it results in other teams trying to hire your designers and at the moment there are several teams offering big salaries to get new people. We hear that Renault and BAR have both lost staff in recent days to Red Bull Racing.