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F1: Spotlight on McLaren’s chief engineer

Ever wondered what occupies the thoughts of a Formula One team’s chief engineer immediately before a grand prix?

Today McLaren has decided to give us an insight into this question by publishing a brief Q&A with Tim Goss – the man responsible for the technical specification and layout of the MP4-25.


Here are his thoughts as the team head for Canada with the intention of swinging the 2010 season their way – with a special emphasis on brake wear at the demanding Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, aerodynamics – and personal fitness. Read on:

Who are you and what do you do?

“I’m Tim Goss, I’m chief engineer at McLaren Racing, where I’ve been working for just over 20 years. My role means I have the ultimate technical responsibility for the 2010 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One car. I am responsible for the specification and fundamental layout of the car, its performance, development and risk management throughout the season.”

After winning in Turkey last week, what’s your most important priority ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix?

“We’d had some issues with a front-wing upgrade we’d evaluated in Istanbul – it wasn’t performing in the way the windtunnel had predicted. So, first thing on Monday morning, I sat down with the aerodynamic team to find out what was wrong and to work on a solution for Canada. After that, we had to get some new pieces designed, manufactured and flown to Montreal – so quite a big challenge.

“We’ve also got some further floor modifications for Canada; they didn’t quite make it to Turkey, but we really wanted to get them on the car for this weekend.”

What are the biggest challenges ahead of this weekend’s race?

“We’ve been working hard to make sure we have a braking solution for Montreal that we can trust. The Canadian Grand Prix is one of the toughest races of the year for brakes – and this year’s ban on refuelling will make it even more demanding.

“Our solution should allow both drivers to push hard throughout the whole race. And if they can do that, then the opposition will have to push hard too. So if we can keep the pressure on, we could stand to benefit at the end of the race.”

What’s the strangest situation you’ve encountered during the Canadian Grand Prix?

“Probably my biggest challenge is running to the top of the Parc du Mont Royal. There’s a few of us in the team who regularly go running when we’re at the racetrack – and the challenge at Montreal is to run up that hill and back down again. A lot of the guys even run back to the city from the circuit, but I’ve never done that. Running up the hill is tough enough!”

Reproduced courtesy of www.McLaren.com.


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