Geoff Willis, Red Bull’s new Technical Director 

Written by David on July 18th, 2007 at 12:28 amLast Update: July 18th, 2007 at 12:36 am

Geoff Willis Red Bull Technical DirectorFormer Honda technical director Geoff Willis is to return to Formula One with Red Bull. Willis, who has been out of the sport since leaving Honda halfway through last season, has joined Red Bull Technology as their new Technical Director. He will replace Mark Smith, who has been offered another senior position within the company.The new deal means that Willis will renew a working relationship with Red Bull’s chief technology officer Adrian Newey, with the pair having operated alongside each other at Williams in the past. Willis will join Red Bull next Monday, immediately after this weekend’s European Grand Prix.

In a recent F1 Racing magazine feature in which he passed judgement on all the teams’ progress in the first part of 2007, Willis said that Red Bull needed to refine their organisation to fully exploit their potential. “The car has all the usual refinement of Adrian’s designs, and the technical group have taken on the challenge of introducing their own quick-shift gearbox design,” he wrote. “Reasonable qualifying pace has not, however, been turned into results, their finishing record being jointly the worst, along with RBR’s sister team, Toro Rosso. The signs of poor organisational control – repeat faults leading to poor reliablity – are clear. There’s plenty of technical skill, but they need to put mechanisms in place to ensure that the design team’s efforts are not squandered.”

Willis has been on gardening leave from Honda since leaving the team in the wake of a staffing reshuffle that resulted in Shuhei Nakamoto being promoted above him. He admitted earlier this year, however, that he was looking for a return to F1. “It’s too early to start making approaches to teams at the moment,” said Willis, who had also been linked with the new Prodrive team. “But I am keen to work with a team that has got the proper resources to get the job done. I think I’ve got a broad experience across a number of disciplines and I’ve been successful in getting disparate groups of people to work together.”

Source: autosport

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