There have been some movements in Honda's technical department recently and the team confirmed on June 20th that Shuhei Nakamoto has been appointed to the post of senior technical director. The future of Geoff Willis, who has been the team's ...
There have been some movements in Honda's technical department recently and the team confirmed on June 20th that Shuhei Nakamoto has been appointed to the post of senior technical director. The future of Geoff Willis, who has been the team's technical director since 2002, is under discussion.
"Honda has set itself some very tough targets for its Formula One team and made a considerable investment in order to achieve them, so we have to ensure that we do everything necessary to pursue those objectives," said CEO Nick Fry.
"Shuhei Nakamoto has an excellent record of achievement with Honda and we have confidence that his appointment, together with our investments at the Brackley HQ, will help us towards our goal."
Last week it was revealed that Willis would not attend the upcoming North American events and would instead remain at Honda's UK base at Brackley to work on aerodynamic development in the new wind tunnel. His trackside role at races is to be taken over by former Sauber chief track engineer Jacky Eeckelaert, who joined Honda late last year.
Fry said at the time that he believes the car is good but one of the specific areas that needs improved is the aerodynamics and the wind tunnel is now just about fully operational. The changes in the technical department were apparently made to enable Willis to focus on that, although today's statement was vague about his future role.
Honda's season so far has not lived up to expectations and the recent British Grand Prix was dismal for the team. Jenson Button knocked out in the first qualifying session of his home race and neither he nor teammate Rubens Barrichello picked up any points. Honda is currently fourth in the constructors' standings, over 30 points down on third-placed McLaren.
Nakamoto previously worked with Honda in motorbike racing and was appointed engineering director of Honda Racing Development in 2003. He has also been a member of the F1 team board of managers since Honda took full ownership of the team in 2005.