Mark Ingham

Ingham studied mechanical engineering at Cambridge University after he left school. He graduated with a Masters degree in 1988 and was immediately recruited by Cosworth Engineering in Northampton and put into the Formula 1 design department.

He shot to prominence in F1 engine design circles in 1991 when Cosworth incorporated pneumatic valve-gear on the Ford HB V8 engine, which was run for the first time by Michael Schumacher in qualifying for the Japanese GP that year. The system was developed in 1992 and at Spa Schumacher won his first race.

The pneumatic valve system was carried forward onto the all-new Zetec-R V8 for 1994 and Michael Schumacher won the World Championship that year. By then, however, Ingham had been poached from Cosworth and was working at Peugeot Sport in Velizy on the design of the Peugeot V10 engine, which was being supplied that season to McLaren.

He clearly made an impression on McLaren because at the end of the year he was recruited from Peugeot to work on ensuring the best possible engine-mounting between the McLaren and the Mercedes-Benz V10 engine. While still in his twenties Ingham took control of the team of designers working on engine installation at McLaren as Project Leader of Systems Design.