Willis and Costa to boost Mercedes technical team 30 Sep 2011
In a bid to further strengthen their technical line-up, Mercedes have announced that former Red Bull technical director Geoff Willis will join the team next month, with ex-Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa coming on board in December.
Willis will become Mercedes’ technology director, heading up the team’s aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics, control systems and simulation functions, while Costa’s role will be that of engineering director, responsible for design and development. Both will report to technical director Bob Bell.
“Geoff is a highly respected engineer with over 20 years of Formula One experience, and we look forward to his arrival next month,” said team principal Ross Brawn. “Having worked closely with Aldo for many years [at Ferrari], I know that he will bring dedication and championship-winning expertise to the team when he joins in December.
“Building a winning team is an exciting challenge for us all as we work towards the competitiveness and standards that we aspire to as the Mercedes-Benz works team. With a strong technical structure led by Bob Bell, we are moving ourselves into the best possible position to achieve our ambitions."
Willis previously worked at Brackley in the team’s BAR/Honda era from 2001 to 2006, and was technical director at Red Bull Racing from 2007 to 2009 before taking a consultancy role with HRT in March 2010. Costa joined Ferrari in 1996 after eight years at the Minardi team. He won eight world championships at Maranello, prior to his departure in May 2011.
"Since Mercedes GP Petronas was formed as a new team in early 2010, we have been putting in place the building blocks for success,” added Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. “Our technical organisation was strengthened by the arrival of Bob Bell and, working closely with Ross, he has identified the areas where we can improve still further.
“Aldo and Geoff will reinforce our technical management and bring the experience required to harness the talents of our people in Brackley; we have also recruited and invested at other levels in order to maximise our competitiveness under the Resource Restriction Agreement. Our goal remains to progress step by step in order to establish ourselves as a front-running team for the long term, in line with the tradition of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows."
Willis will start work at Mercedes on October 17, while Costa will take up his post on December 1.