JUNE 21, 2006
It was no surprise when we heard this morning that Geoff Willis had departed from Honda F1. The news that the team had appointed a "senior technical director" above his head was a clear sign that the Honda-Willis relationship was not one that was going to last for much longer. Our spies tell us that in fact it was a few hours between the announcement of the appointment of Shuhei Nakamoto as senior technical director and the departure of Willis.
Geoff has been technical director at Honda since 2002 when he joined the team from Williams, where he was head of aerodynamics for five years, and prior to that worked at the team under chief designer Adrian Newey. The connection went back to 1990 when he joined Newey's team at Leyton House Racing to help the team develop computational fluid dynamics systems. Prior to that, as a doctor of hydrodynamic engineering, he had worked in the shadowy world of torpedo design and as a member of the British America's Cup challenge in San Diego from 1987.
It is likely that in the months ahead Willis will be emulating Mike Gascoyne, who was recently dropped by Toyota, by spending his time going sailing.
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