Williams’ chief operations engineer Gillan leaves

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan leaves the team he originally joined in the middle of last season in the wake of Williams’ poor start to 2011.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Operations head Gillan leaves Williams (Reuters)

“Along with technical head Mike Coughlan and aerodynamics head Jason Somerville, Gillan was an important figure in taking Williams back to the top of the podium this year after their worst ever season in 2011.”

2014 rules to stretch teams – Williams (Autosport)

“You are juggling two developments together so you have to try and fit that in. Clearly the wind-tunnel development is something which you have to be very careful of in terms of prioritisation.”

GBH conviction no barrier, says Sutil (BBC)

“We checked all the countries and there is no problem for me to travel. All my problems last winter are solved.”

Inside the stewards’ office (ESPN)

“We have to check each incident really carefully, because [the outcome] is so important. We check it really carefully – we assess all the data, we take the cameras, the GPS system, everything. We take a careful look at the incident and the data, then we make our decision. We try to be as fast as possible, but we have to be right.”

A farewell for Lewis (McLaren via YouTubew)

Antonio Felix da Costa Q&A (Sky)

“It was really, really tough [racing in GP3 and Formula Renault 3.5 in the same season]. I had a lot of help from Red Bull – they let me use their simulator every time I had a GP3 or World Series race and this helped me before every weekend to settle into the car I was getting into. In the end it was very tough, they are very different cars – the World Series car is double the size and double the power with different brakes.”


Comment of the day

Kamui Kobayashi has given up on his attempt to secure a seat for 2013 but was he right to ask for money from fans?

I love Kobayashi, I will never forget the chanting in Japan. However I do feel that the donation he has received is unjust and that he should hand it back or donate it to a worthy charity.

While I hate the idea of having pay drivers, I know F1 can’t get away from it, especially in the current economic situation. But I really don’t like how Kobayashi went about raising money for himself.

While I really do have sympathy for Kobayashi, I would sooner give a donation to someone who has to sleep on the streets then to someone who has already achieved what most of us can only dream of, not to mention etching a moment in F1 fans minds that they will never forget.

From the forum

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Image © Williams/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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58 comments on “Williams’ chief operations engineer Gillan leaves”

  1. However I do feel that the donation he has received is unjust and that he should hand it back or donate it to a worthy charity.

    I believe Kobayashi – or possibly his brother – said early on that if they could not secure a seat in 2013, the money would go to charity.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys In the previous article from Keith, he mentioned the money would go towards a seat in 2014.

      1. And if not 2014 then charity.

        1. And if not 2014, then 2015.

          1. And if not in 2015, maybe he can set up a new team for 2016.

          2. Which he’ll probably need some pay drivers for ;)

      2. 4,000 kids die from starvation every day – that’s cause I had donated and will do again. Racing drivers – sorry guys, I like you, but I others need our help more than you.

        1. I’m not sure why people keep comparing this to charity. Isn’t it more like an investment? Is money contributed to support an F1 driver’s career really money you would otherwise contribute to starving children — as opposed to, say, money you would spend on video games or going to movies? (That’s where the money would come from if I were going to contribute, anyway.)

          1. Well put. Agree with you.

          2. Well said (written?) @aka_robyn, its the same for me.

            Charity is something different to me too

    2. People donated money to help Kobayashi find a ride, not for charity. It’d be great if that money went to charity if the objective is not fulfilled, but it’s not “injust”.

      People donate because they want to do it. That money Koba got was spend by fans that wanted him to keep going, the same way that people donate to F1Fanatic or other sites.

      To be honest, I’m still not sure if it was a good idea or not, but it’s definetly not injust… no one was forced to contribute, they just wanted to do it.

      4,000 kids die from starvation every day – that’s cause I had donated and will do again. Racing drivers – sorry guys, I like you, but I others need our help more than you.

      @kiril-varbanov Well, we’re talking about F1 and everything attached to it… the whole thing is quite wrong, don’t you think?

      1. Just what I wanted to say – Kobayashi has in no way done anything wrong. If he didn’t get a seat then there could be an argument if he doesn’t donate it to charity, but until that point I see nothing wrong with what he’s doing.

        TLDR: if you think there’s better causes, donate money to then and not Kobayashi, problem solved. He’s not forcing you!

  2. Antonio Felix da Costa rocks, whatever he does!

    Sorry for that, but that’s what it feels like to have for the first time a portuguese driver in with a good chance of being successful in F1.

    1. Everyone is loving this guy right now (I’m no exception)! I just hope that when he inevitably makes it to RBR in F1 people don’t immediately start tearing him down because he’s never had to prove himself in a bad car, etc. ;-)

      It was nice of him in that interview to be so gracious about the performance of his teammate, Alexander Rossi. Not sure it’s exactly warranted, but it was a nice thing to say.

  3. Funny, Sutil’s nightclub dust-up got him fired and made many teams weary about hiring him for last season – but Jos Verstappen was retained by Arrows even after receiving a stiffer sentence for fracturing a guy’s skull at a go-kart track assault! Some precedent that was…

    That aside, Force India’s tendency to promote from within still makes me think Bianchi will get their second seat over Sutil/Alguersuari/Senna/whomever else.

    1. If Sutil had had a night club brawl with a random person, the issue wouldn’t have affected his 2012 drive… but considering it was Eric Lux that was injured, the issue had an influence within the f1 community.

      Its sad that it happened though.. Sutil was among the better drivers on the grid in 2011, and its a shame if we never get to see him race again.

  4. Pointless COTD IMO. What, he will now take the money and use it to buy a yacht? He will put it to good use for getting a seat in 2014. And if that fails also, he will donate it to some charity no doubt. KK strikes me as a decent bloke.

    Also the very idea is brilliant and it was successful. I’m sure no one in KK’s camp had any illusions that money from fans only would be enough. But it helped raise his public image in Japan, so much so, that companies in Japan were willing to add further 5 million pounds to the 1.5 million raised by the fans, which was the main point IMO of this exercise-to show to Japanese businesses that there are many people who care for Kobayashi

    1. I completely believe the COTD is just and that Kobayashi’s donations recieved are not.

      Sure the fans that gave him money did so willingly but if you are a celebrity it is easy to raise money..If Kobayashi was trying to gather money to save polar bears I doubt he would have received much less money and it’s possible he could have even earned more, as more people may rather save polar bears than keep Kobayashi racing..

      I want to see Kobayashi back in a top seat but not as a sympathy case, he’s a boss – excellent driver and fan favourite. If he was given the mclaren seat for 3 years I could imagine him becoming better than Alonso. He’d never have the qualifying speed of Hamilton/Senna or the consistancy of Alonso and Schumacher but he could reach a happy medium, quicker than Alonso and more consistant than Hamilton. (Although one can’t say that based upon Hamilton’s excellently quick and consistant performance of 2012 – Kobayashi couldn’t beat Schumacher, Senna or Ham at their best)

      He’s a bloody lucky guy for getting to drive an F1 car, the fastest car I’ve been able to race is a 300bhp rx7. T’was fun but it was my own money at risk, if I was getting paid 4 million a year to drive any car – let alone a 750bhp F1 car I’d consider my life fairly complete. Even if I’d not achieved anything else, because I love driving fast that much, I’d see myself as a winner. Sure you’d want to be winning races and championships but it’s impossible to keep winning.

      I consider Kobayashi a winner. If he’s lucky enough to improve his standing in F1, then he’s simply a more succesfull winner, whereas I don’t consider Bruno Senna a winner at all, I feel sorry for him mainly due to his lack of success based upon what his uncle achieved.

      I do hope Kobayashi get’s into a good seat in 2014 and that none of his fans that donated money are feeling like their money has been wasted.

      1. @montreal95. I agree 100%! I’m a Japanese.

        1. Thank you! I’m not a Japanese but common sense is a universal thing :)

      2. cant see why people think he is that good?

        tell me when he has been as quick as alonso lol

        1. No one atm is as quick as Alonso, apart from Hamilton and Vettel. What’s your point?

          Also since you’d asked enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nhXAVCZHLM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BlD4iFhI8g

          1. DD42 Said he could be as quick as alonso. No evidence of that in my opinion.

            Its a shame. but he has been ok but not amazing. Good luck to whatever he does. Indy would be good for him

      3. @DD42 Before the donations started no one was even sure KK is a celebrity. People spoke about how F1 is relegated to the very back pages of newspapers in Japan. that no one cares about it anymore apart from some crazy aficionados. And so no Japanese company would be willing to support such relative unknown. Well now they see their mistake even if it’s too late for 2013

        And please stop this politically correct bull crap about the polar bears. I’m sure that someone who could afford to donate a couple of pounds to KK would be able to do so for the polar bears as welll had they so wished

        The rest of what you said about Kobayashi I agree to mostly

        1. @montreal95

          Sorry my post was posted as a reply, initially I intended to disagree with you then I changed my mind halfway through writing it and so I was supposed to then post it seperatley but forfgot.

          How are polar bears politically correct? I don’t think polar bears follow politics. Sos just kidding, I just wrote about the first cause that came to mind.

          Thanks for reminding me that KK wasn’t a celebrity in Japan, I’d genuinely forgot and thought he’d be as more recognised than say Paul Di Resta in Britain and possibly as famous as JB.

          I was trying to make the point that I think Kobayashi could become as fast over a season as Alonso and should have been picked for a good seat

      4. “I consider Kobayashi a winner. If he’s lucky enough to improve his standing in F1, then he’s simply a more succesfull winner, whereas I don’t consider Bruno Senna a winner at all, I feel sorry for him mainly due to his lack of success based upon what his uncle achieved.”

        Bruno Senna could be a winner if it wasn’t for the effects of financial crisis, with Honda leaving and losing Brawn drive as a result of not having the opportunity to test during the european winter of 2008/2009. With Brawn he could have won races, as he was at the peak of his confidence and motivation, coming from a winning season in GP2. Kobayashi didn’t show much in GP2 but he could develop much more than Bruno Senna between 2009 and 2011, while the brazilian had no chance to have proper seasons to develop his talent, something that hurted him a lot, as he started racing only at 21.

        Even so Bruno Senna was shadowed this year by a team mate who was already there for a year and also had the disadvantage of losing FP1 and to adapt to tyres that didn’t suit his driving style at all, hurting his qualifying. Kobayashi was shadowed by a team mate who arrived to his team (and to F1) after him and had not the excuse of losing track time in practice or tyres not suiting his style. So I don’t see how we can say Kobayashi is a winner and Bruno is not, as the latter can still improve a lot if he has a season in equal conditions with others. Even so he is already as fast as most of the grid in races, certainly as fast as Kobayashi.

  5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    18th December 2012, 0:20

    About Konayashi, didn’t he say that he would keep the money, to see if he can keep collecting more for a possibly empty seat in 2014?

  6. I don’t get all the fuss around Sutil, He was in F1 for 5 years with the same Mid-Field team & no other team showed any interest in him during that time.

    there are other, younger, better drivers out there which force india should look at. sutil had his opportunity & didnt impress enough. if he had shown enough then other teams would have shown interest in him by now.

    1. To be fair he made his mark in Monaco 2008… to be running in 4th in the slowest car on the grid was really something. In 2009 when the car was better, so were his performances. Sure he missed out on the opportunity for a podium (like fisi got in spa), but he was a more consistent driver than Fisi throughout that season. In 2010, he was among the top 8 drivers on the grid.. he had a massive points haul through consistent points finishes and convincingly destroyed his teammate… not to mention drivers in quicker cars.. like Schumacher.
      In 2011 he struggled with the tyres for the 1st half of the season, but absolutely outclassed Di Resta in the 2nd half of the season.

      There are drivers currently on the grid who have been far less impressive, and yet remain in the sport. I think he deserves a spot on the grid more than Petrov, Glock, Kovalainen and even Massa.

      1. The issue with sutil is that he’s put in 2-3 performances which stand out but a great deal more where he’s been mediocre at best.
        monaco 2008 was the stand-out, however do not forget that according to the monaco stewards he would not have finished 4th as he passed 5 cars under a waved yellow flag at lowes so was getting a post race penalty.

        looking at 2009, while fisichella was getting pole & contending for the win at spa where was sutil? miles off the pace running well down the order. the car was the best it had ever been that weekend so sutil should have been up there with fisichella, if not ahead of him.

        my initial point still stands, if sutil was that good then other teams would have shown interest by now & he’d have moved up the grid. spending 5 years at the same mid-field team with zero interest shown from other teams tells me that he just isn’t that good. he’s had his shot & should move on to let someone else have an opportunity.

  7. If there’s one reason why Sutil should come back is to see what’s gonna happen when he’s battling against Lewis, both on and off track!

  8. So, based on that Windsor tweet, Gillan heads to Sauber? Or is it only McCullogh and no destination yet for Gillan?

    1. It’s only McCullogh. I read on another site that according to Williams Team, Gillan is leaving F1 in order to spend more time with his family – his new Ferrari family I hope.

      1. Adam Parr also left to ‘spend time with his family’. It’s that wonderful nebulous PR-speak for ‘we can’t openly discuss why he left at this time’.

  9. Very nice “thank you” video to Lewis. Real shame Ron Dennis isn’t in it though.

    And I have to agree with some of the other comments, the COTD is a tad silly. KK seems nice enough to not just now run off and pocket the cash. Maybe if he doesn’t get a drive in ’14 he can do as Mike says and donate it to charity.

    I get that @Mike-The-Bike-Schumacher would rather give money to a homeless person, and that’s his prerogative. Clearly some people feel differently though, each to their own. But you have no right to call his collection “unjust”. Clearly the fans who donated felt it was “just” so it’s kind of insensitive to call something they believe in and are invested in, “unjust”. There wasn’t any begging or pleading, just a simple laid out case. Some people donated, some didn’t.

    I personally really like the way Kobayashi went about it.
    Question: Would you rather have a driver who gets into the sport because they have some pull with a big company?
    Or would you like to know that, you like a driver enough/think he’s good enough to be in F1, so the fans helped keep him there?
    Heck, I know which one I’d choose over and over again. Kudos Kobayashi for having the balls to ask the fans for help!!

      1. Drop Valencia!
        18th December 2012, 2:36

        +1 if my driver asked for help I would give it, I would have given a few bucks to KK but he wasn’t taking cash outside Japan.

    1. Personally, I think he should have returned the money if he wasn’t successful. Keeping it until 2014 seems like bad form to me.

  10. While there might be reasons for arguing that there are more worthy causes than a future F1 drive, surely that’s a question for the person donating the money? It is not as though KK deceived anyone as to the purpose of the fund. So, if a private citizen voluntarily chooses to give some of their money to try to help their favourite driver get a seat next year, who has the right to say they shouldn’t do that?

  11. Pleased to get Cotd, and happy it caused some interesting debate on the subject. To address a few points, ofcourse it’s up to the individual to decide whether to donate to kobayashi or to someone in more dire need. Also I would never think KK would ‘Run off’ with the money @montreal95, and maybe I don’t have a right to call his collection ‘unjust’ @timi, but its my opinion. However, I do feel strongly that there are more important things to donate to. His approach of appealing to ‘fans’, essentially the public, just really puts me off. Company’s have their own agenda for sponsoring a driver, i.e. advertising. Any kind of public funding is out of the goodness of peoples hearts, which I think could go to something more worthwhile.
    Pay drivers is a nasty thing to begin with, don’t drag the fans into it too, it’ll just get too messy. Imagine if every driver did it, I don’t even know how to describe that, it would become some kind of mesed up F1 Xfactor.

    1. Hopefully the plan was to show sponsors how big a fan base he had, donate that money to charity and pick up some clean corporate money.

      1. @Mike the bike. Please read JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III comment for you. :)

        1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          18th December 2012, 19:13

          Sadly no one can anymore, it seems some comments are just to cool to be allowed on f1 fanatic even when they “abide by the comment policy”. “narrows eyes and looks sideways at keith”

    2. I do feel strongly that there are more important things to donate to

      I doubt if the fans’ donations will allow Kobayashi to turn his career around. But I don’t think that they are less worthy than donations to homeless people. Kobayashi makes his fans happy and he inspires a lot of people, gives them something to be happy about. And people need positive emotions. They can make them work more productively and make this world a better place, which indirectly helps the homeless people as well.

    3. @mike-the-bike-schumacher While I respect your opinion, you still haven’t replied to the main topic of my response above, which is the main point of this exercise-to prove to Japanese companies that many people care about Kobayashi. And as I’d replied to someone above it’s also preposterous to presume that if a person chose to donate a couple of pounds to KK, he wouldn’t be able to do the same for another cause had he so wished

      1. @montreal95 ya, that’s a valid point, but it clearly hasn’t worked for him. My main point is I don’t like the idea of someone who has already achieved the ‘dream’ crying out for money.

    4. Maybe you should sell the computer that you are writing on and donate the proceeds to charity as well

  12. Nice to read about inside view of a race marshal progressing to race steward. While marshals are respected for their hard work and dedication, stewards are often only mentioned when we don’t understand their decisions. It is good to remember they too are usually very enthusiastic motorsport fans at heart, and that they take the tough job of stewarding very seriously. Well done Silvia Bellot, and thanks for your efforts!

  13. Kamui Kobayashi has given up on his attempt to secure a seat for 2013 but was he right to ask for money from fans?

    Um, yes? Nobody was forced to give Kamui money, his fans had an opportunity to make a contribution to his career, which I feel is a great thing. I don’t like pay drivers if they’re backed by big corporations, but fan contribution is never bad.

  14. Antonio Felix da Costa:

    […] I got the call from Red Bull and they wanted me to replace their current driver in F1 at the time and things really progressed from there.

    I’m confused

    1. I interpreted as their current WSR 3.5 driver which was Williamson.

      Nevertheless I hope that in the future he gets the chance of replacing one of the RB drivers, it would be amazing!

    2. GP3 Red Bull team

  15. Is what Kobayashi any different to what Justin Wilson did to raise funds to get a seat in F1? Both drivers used novel ways of asking fans to help them out to get some funds together to get try secure a seat in F1. I think that sort of lateral thinking has to be commended!

    I personally couldn’t care less what he does with the funds he raised. People gave out of the goodness of their hearts, once the funds were donated they were gone. If someone is outraged they should contact Kamui and ask for their money back, he seems like the sort of guy who would be only too happy to write them a cheque.

    1. ^ Alas! Sense!

      I think it was a great idea, and I was skeptical it would take off like it did to start off with, but he’s basically gone ‘okay, if I really need to get money together to continue doing what I love and what I feel I am supposed to do, then I’ll do it.’

      I know as a driver I’d appreciate the sum of a lot of fans small contributions a hell of a lot more than off some cold corporation…

  16. @mike-the-bike-schumacher ‘s CotD: Kobayashi asked for money, and it was given to him. Clearly not many people would rather donate money to poor people than their favourite F1 driver; or they did to both.

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