De Ferran Leaves Honda, Ex-honda Designer Willis Joins Red Bull

By: Ally Wahlberg

Gil de Ferran has filed for an immediate resignation relinquishing his role as Honda's sporting director. The former Brazilian Indycar racer has won twice the CART title and the Indianapolis 500 in 2003 before joining Honda's team in April of 2005.

Unfortunately after years of staying with the manufacturer of , Honda, de Ferran has find out that the job has failed to match up with what he initially hopes for. The 39-year-old Brazilian Indycar racer has left the team to pursue other opportunities.

De Ferran said in a team statement, "I am obviously very disappointed to be leaving the Honda F1 team. I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for Honda, with whom I have been successfully associated for more than 10 years. Consequently, my decision to leave has not been an easy one. I simply feel that I came to this team to fulfil a particular role and it has not materialized as I had hoped. I would like to thank everyone at the team for the support I have been given and I wish them luck in the future."

De Ferran's departure came less than a year after Jenson Button obtained the contemporary Honda Team's maiden victory in Hungarian Grand Prix. The English racer ended the season with a strong string of points-paying finishes.

Unfortunately for Honda's team it has suffered a dramatic misfortune this season with Button taking their only Championship point far in the recent French Grand Prix.

Honda team Principal Nick Fry said, "I am disappointed that Gil is leaving our team. Since he joined us in 2005 we have enjoyed a very positive relationship. However, a Formula One team is rather like a jigsaw puzzle in that every piece has to fit precisely in its place. Gil has become increasingly uncomfortable in his role and feels the time has now come to seek fresh opportunities. We are very much hoping that Gil will choose to maintain close links with the Honda family."

Willis joins Red Bull
In other news another ex-Honda this time the former designer Geoff Willis has joined Red Bull as part of the team continuous recruitment drive with the hope of taking them to the top of Formula One.

Willis will work for start designer Adrian Newey, Red Bull's design boss. These two great designers have previously gained success with Williams in the 1990s.

Willis joins Red Bull as technical director but will be reporting to Newey on design. The 47-yea-old have left Honda last summer after Japanese Shuhei Nakamoto was promoted above him.

At Williams, Newey and Willis has formed one of F1's highly-successful partnerships wherein their cars won 4 drivers' titles and 5 constructors' championships from 1992 to 1997.

The addition of Willis is part of a series of high-profile technical appointments by Red Bull which identified 2008 as the year they hope to make a serious impression at the front in F1.

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