FEBRUARY 28, 2002

Wood at Minardi

THE Minardi team has recently signed up another engineer to help bolster the team. The 31-year-old British aerodynamicist Ben Wood began his F1 career in the early 1990s as an aerodynamicist at Minardi, under technical director Aldo Costa.

He stayed at Minardi until the end of 1995 but then followed Costa to Ferrari, where he was involved in the development of the Ferrari F1 cars in the half-scale Maranello windtunnel. He was then lured to Britain to work for Mike Gascoyne's aerodynamic team at Tyrrell and it was while he was with the Ockham team that Wood first made a big impact in F1 by coming up with the X-wing concept.

These wings was widely copied by other F1 teams and eventually the concept was banned by the FIA.

In the autumn of 1997 both John Barnard at Arrows and Alain Prost were trying to hire Wood away from Tyrrell and in the end he moved to Paris to head the Prost aerodynamic team. The new Prost AP02 showed signs of innovative aerodynamics with its unusual sidepod profiles but the Peugeot engine let the team down and as Prost slipped backwards Wood moved on in 2000 to the new Jaguar Racing.