There are management changes afoot at the back-of-the-grid HRT team. It was rumoured at Valencia last weekend that Geoff Willis, the Spanish team’s technical director, could soon move into a higher management position.
At the same time, Germany’s motorsport-total.com reports that Gary Savage, formerly a close colleague of Willis’ at BAR/Honda some years ago, is close to signing on at HRT in a senior technical post.
Savage was seen in the paddock at Montreal and Valencia, and HRT confirmed that it is in “advanced discussions” with the engineer. Another ex-BAR man already at Hispania is Jacky Eeckelaert.
GrandPrixActual reports that the Willis/Eeckelaert/Savage trio, with Hispania to soon kick off its aerodynamic programme in BAR’s old wind tunnel at Mercedes’ Brackley facility, might result in current HRT boss Colin Kolles losing his job.
Team owner Jose Ramon Carabante said: “He helped this team to be born but I have not signed a lifetime contract with Colin Kolles. If we agree, we will continue together, and if not, we will go on with other people.”
Should Kolles leave, it would raise many questions about the basic structure of HRT, with the team effectively based at the moment at the Romanian’s TME facility at Greding, Germany.
Meanwhile, with technical director Sam Michael set to leave and Mike Coughlan now starting work, Williams on Tuesday announced two more senior appointments.
Jason Somerville, joining from Renault, will be the new head of aerodynamics, while former Toyota man Mark Gillan is joining as chief operations engineer.
“We now feel that, together with Mike, 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,” said Sir Frank Williams.