DECEMBER 17, 2012

Mark Gillan leaves Williams

Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan has left the team. Gillan, along with Mike Coughlan, was a key part of a much improved Williams performance level in 2012 after the team suffered one of the worst years in its history last season.

"In 2011 our car was not the best build-wise," Gillan explained. "The quality of components was not as good as it could have been. It meant that repeatability, even between two cars, wasn't good. That gave the aerodynamic department a difficult problem with what to push forward in the wind tunnel."

Gillan explained that the team had used the last few races of 2011 to make sure that they had not designed any problems into FW34, and added: "The biggest difference in 2012 was that the team was feeding bits almost on an event basis to ensure that the pace remained in the car." He also paid tribute to the zero degradation of the Renault engine over increasing mileage and its user-friendliness in terms of cooling requirements and ultimate drivability.

An experienced F1 hand with previous experience at McLaren, Jaguar / Red Bull and Toyota, where he worked with current Williams chief aerodynamicist Jason Somerville, Gillan's departure from Williams is something of a surprise.

It would not be diffcult to imagine him beingsought after elsewhere in the paddock but Williams says that he is leaving them to spend more time with his family.