Williams appoints new technical staff for 2012 car

2012 F1 season

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Valencia, 2011

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Valencia, 2011

Williams have announced two major new recruits in its technical department.

Jason Somerville has joined as head of aerodynamics and Mark Gillan has become the team’s chief operations engineer.

It follows the joint resignation of technical director Sam Michael and chief aerodynamicist Jon Tomlinson last month, which will take effect at the end of the year.

Somerville joins the team as of August 15th. Gillan will begin attending races from the next Grand Prix weekend, and start work for the team in October. They will develop the team’s 2012 car, the FW34, with new chief engineer Mike Coughlan.

Somerville is returning to Williams who he worked for between 1997 and 2002, contributing to the development of the FW23, FW24 and FW25 F1 cars as well as the BMW LMR V12 which won the Le Mans 24 Hours.

He moved to Toyota in 2003. Following their departure from F1 he joined Renault, where he worked on this year’s R31.

Gillan is another ex-Toyota employee – he was formerly their head of aerodynamics – who has also worked for McLaren, Jaguar and Red Bull.

Frank Williams said: “Williams F1 is looking forward to welcoming Jason and Mark to the team. They bring with them talent, experience and good team skills.

“We now feel that, together with Mike Coughlan, Jason and Mark can form the right technical leadership to take the team forward as we work our way back to the front of the grid.”

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33 comments on Williams appoints new technical staff for 2012 car

  1. Harvs (@harvs) said on 28th June 2011, 9:53

    Lets guess…

    When the 2012 Williams rolls out early next year it will be a “Clean sheet, Agressive design”.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 28th June 2011, 11:19

      And it will still be in the midfield.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th June 2011, 11:19

      I hope these new people at least bring some creative new wordings with them.

      But taking in account that the car one of them worked on last was the Renault R31 for this year and it was also announced to be “aggressive” and “innovative”, I guess it will stay at these words.

      Good to see Williams getting in a solid team, although one has to worry for all the people leaving Renault, how much will be left there.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 28th June 2011, 12:47

        And the other is used to work for a team that started the season saying they will be fighting for the championship in the coming year, or at least a race win, for most of their time in the sport. Good omens.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th June 2011, 13:51

      No tight rear end?

  2. curedcat said on 28th June 2011, 9:53

    nice one from williams , shaking up the technical department and bringing in fresh brains and experience . will be keeping an eye on their next challenger .

  3. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 28th June 2011, 10:14

    Williams are simply destined to stay in the midfield until they can get some solid, substantial investment. It would help if they had better drivers, too.

  4. ogamii (@ogamii) said on 28th June 2011, 10:15

    Good luck guys

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th June 2011, 10:19

    Hopefully Messrs Somerville and Gillan will be immune to the party line of “We’ve built an aggressive car”.

  6. VXR said on 28th June 2011, 10:33

    That’s not a bad line-up that Williams have themselves there. I’d keep Barrichello for definite. Maldanado is slightly less convincing, but better than Hulkenburg IMO.

  7. Don said on 28th June 2011, 12:10

    Barrichello has been the ‘second-best’ driver in Formula one for probably more seasons and across more driver generations/eras than any other driver in the sport.

    He was not Michael, and he was not in the Brawn year, Button. But remember he has been in the top three in races with the mordern era of F1.

    – Alain Prost
    – Ayrton Senna
    – Damon Hill
    – Thierry Boutsen
    – Michael Schumacher (inc. different cars)
    – Eddier Irvine
    – Jean Alesi
    – Gerhard Berger
    – Johnny Herbert
    – Mika Salo
    – Mika Hakkinen
    – Johnny Herbert
    – Kimmi Raikonen
    – David Coulthard
    – Felipe Massa
    – Fernando Alonso
    – Olivier Panis
    – Alan McNish

    To not have anything but immense respect for Barrichello as a race-car driver season-after-season is a simple failure to understand the sport.

  8. topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 28th June 2011, 12:50

    I really hope this works out for them. Barrichello, for all the wonderful career he’s had, is starting to show his age a bit…

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 28th June 2011, 17:13

      I agree; I cannot imagine Barrichello getting any faster after 40.

      After the Hamilton-Maldonado collision in Monaco, someone on this site jokingly suggested that Hamilton’s penalty should be to drive Maldonado’s Williams for a few races. From Williams’s point of view, this is indeed a great idea. Would they score decent points regularly with, say, a Hamilton-Button line-up? Just look at 2009 what a difference the driver can make. Rosberg scored like 30-something points (old money, of course), to Nakajima’s 0.

  9. suka (@suka) said on 28th June 2011, 17:04

    don’t know economics or even the business of f1 but I suggest they go off the markets and go back to a major engine supplier bond like before. that maybe could cut the cost of armotizations and push the development much more. Bring in Honda, BMW, Jaguar, Ford, Audi, Peugeot or somebody??? I just admire Williams for the sake of the not so old days. Wish them all luck.

  10. suka (@suka) said on 28th June 2011, 17:10

    major engine supplier

    meant major auto maker

  11. F1 98 said on 2nd July 2011, 6:27

    I expect good results

  12. When will this happen?and why he will appoints new staff?

  13. Trentos said on 22nd August 2011, 5:53

    I doubt that it will help at all, every other team will improve enough for them to slip behind once again. Bring Hulkenburg back.

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