Interview with Williams' Mike Coughlan

Interview with Williams' Mike Coughlan

14 June 2011 – Part of the notorious ‘Spy Gate’ scandal which affected Formula 1 by making global headlines in 2007, Mike Coughlan has now returned to the sport. He shares memories of the past and thoughts for the future, having taken on the role of Chief Engineer at Williams.

How do you feel about joining Williams?
I am thrilled to be at Williams. I have always admired Williams, it is such a renowned name in motorsport, so I am excited to work with the team to try and recapture their past glory. This would have been great at any point in my career because Williams is such an iconic team, but it is made even more special because I have been given the chance to return to Formula 1.

You come to the team having not worked in Formula 1 since 2007; what have you been doing since then?
I took the opportunity to help develop the Ocelot light protected patrol vehicle, designed to protect British forces in transit. I then moved back into racing with Michael Waltrip Racing in NASCAR. I was expecting to be with Waltrip for the next stage of my career, and they are a super team, but unfortunately it proved impossible to work on one side of the Atlantic with my family living on the other. So, the opportunity at Williams also brings my family together again, which is obviously important.

You have said that 2007 was a life-changing experience. In what way?
It was life-changing because it made me reflect upon myself and my actions. Leaving a team and a sport that I love, and then seeing the consequences of my actions on the team and its fans, was devastating. All I can do now is work hard and try to earn my place back in Formula 1. This is what I am determined to do with Williams.

To those who feel that what you did was unforgivable, what do you say?
Well, I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone who was affected by my conduct and in particular the people at McLaren and Ferrari and the fans of those teams. I sincerely regret my actions and I fully accepted the penalty given to me by the FIA. I can only hope that I can earn back everyone’s respect.

Have you had a chance to evaluate the team and what do you think of your new place of work?
I was really impressed when I looked around the factory. The team has a fantastic site at Grove and some brilliant people working there. Seeing the potential of the team and the facilities for myself, as well as witnessing how motivated everyone is and how hard they all work, is really encouraging and I’m looking forward to working with them all.

What do you think you can bring to the team?
Essentially, the team as it stands is fantastic. It is full of intelligent, creative and determined people who, from what I have observed, should be seeing results far beyond those they are achieving at the moment. So while we will be bringing in a couple of new people, it’s also a case of looking at the way we work.

And what do you hope to achieve in your time at Williams?
Personally, I am aiming to integrate myself back into Formula 1 and prove myself. With regards to the team, I think we all have one goal – to win races. I think I can say that, even though I have only just finished my first day here! But obviously I’m hoping to help bring an upturn in the team’s results and put it back to where it deserves to be.


Also on Tuesday:
Interview with Williams' Sam Michael

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 6 July 2015

  2. Hülkenberg hails 'best ever' Formula 1 start 07:34

    Hülkenberg hails 'best ever' Formula 1 start

    Nico Hülkenberg described his start to the British Grand Prix as the best of his Formula 1 career, after jumping from ninth on…

    F1
  3. Video of the Day: Toro Rosso duo make tea 05:24

    Video of the Day: Toro Rosso duo make tea

    Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. are tasked with making tea for technical chief James Key.

    F1
  4. Sunday 5 July 2015

  5. 17:48

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    F1
  6. Alonso blasts first-lap driving standards 17:44

    Alonso blasts first-lap driving standards

    McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso hit out at driving standards after the first-lap incident which saw three cars retire from the…

    F1
  7. Grosjean gutted for Lotus after double DNF 17:27

    Grosjean gutted for Lotus after double DNF

    Romain Grosjean says he "feels for everyone" at Lotus after the squad recorded a double retirement at its home race at…

    F1
  8. Williams pair left with mixed feelings 17:09

    Williams pair left with mixed feelings

    Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were left with mixed feelings after finishing fourth and fifth at the British…

    F1
  9. Ricciardo sidelined by electrical issue 16:59

    Ricciardo sidelined by electrical issue

    Daniel Ricciardo's retirement from the British Grand Prix was caused by an electrical issue which affected his ERS-H and K…

    F1
  10. Verstappen caught out by gust of wind 16:48

    Verstappen caught out by gust of wind

    Max Verstappen says a mixture of cold tyres and a gust of wind caught him off-guard as he crashed out of the British Grand…

    F1
  11. Vettel says podium finish 'not a gift' 16:40

    Vettel says podium finish 'not a gift'

    Sebastian Vettel says his podium at the British Grand Prix was "not a gift", arguing that he and Ferrari simply made the correct…

    F1
  12. Rosberg: I had to stay out longer in rain 15:31

    Rosberg: I had to stay out longer in rain

    Nico Rosberg says he had no choice but to stay out longer than team-mate Lewis Hamilton as late rain showers hit the British…

    F1
  13. Hamilton proud of Intermediate tyre call 15:14

    Hamilton proud of Intermediate tyre call

    Lewis Hamilton says he was proud of his decision to pit for Intermediate tyres earlier than his rivals during Sunday's British…

    F1
  14. 14:58

    In full: British Grand Prix race result

    F1
  15. Hamilton wins rain-hit British Grand Prix 14:40

    Hamilton wins rain-hit British Grand Prix

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton extended his advantage at the top of the championship standings by beating team-mate Nico Rosberg…

    F1
  16. 12:43

    Follow the British Grand Prix live!

    F1
  17. 12:02

    Starting grid for the British Grand Prix

    F1
  18. 10:24

    Latest GP2 photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    GP2
  19. Haryanto takes another Sprint Race win 10:21

    Haryanto takes another Sprint Race win

    Rio Haryanto secured his third GP2 victory of the season as he converted pole position into another Sprint Race triumph at…

    GP2
  20. 09:03

    Latest GP3 photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    GP3
  21. Ceccon sweeps to maiden GP3 triumph 08:58

    Ceccon sweeps to maiden GP3 triumph

    Arden driver Kevin Ceccon claimed his maiden GP3 win after a lights-to-flag victory at Silverstone on Sunday morning. Ceccon…

    GP3
  22. Wolff not giving up on F1 race seat 08:34

    Wolff not giving up on F1 race seat

    Williams test driver Susie Wolff says she will not give up on her ambition of securing a Formula 1 race seat until it becomes…

    F1
  23. Verstappen identifies qualifying issue 07:37

    Verstappen identifies qualifying issue

    Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen says he has identified the issue which contributed to his exit from the second phase of qualifying…

    F1
  24. Video of the Day: Felipe Nasr's home 05:24

    Video of the Day: Felipe Nasr's home

    Sauber driver Felipe Nasr takes you on a tour of his family home in Brasilia, Brazil.

    F1
  25. Saturday 4 July 2015

  26. 19:51

    Latest GP2 photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    GP2
  27. Feature Race penalties for Pic, Rowland 19:47

    Feature Race penalties for Pic, Rowland

    Arthur Pic and Oliver Rowland have both been handed penalties by the stewards following Saturday's GP2 Feature Race at…

    GP2
  28. 17:41

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    F1
  29. McLaren reprimanded for tyre breach 17:33

    McLaren reprimanded for tyre breach

    McLaren has been reprimanded by the stewards after it fitted Fernando Alonso's car with a tyre outside his allocation during…

    F1
  30. Ricciardo struggles in low-speed corners 17:11

    Ricciardo struggles in low-speed corners

    Daniel Ricciardo pinpointed a lack of grip through Silverstone's low-speed corners after qualifying 10th for the British Grand…

    F1
  31. 17:09

    Latest GP3 photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    GP3
  32. Kirchhöfer fends off Bernstorff for victory 17:07

    Kirchhöfer fends off Bernstorff for victory

    ART driver Marvin Kirchhöfer resisted a late charge from Arden rival Emil Bernstorff to claim victory in the first GP3 race of…

    GP3
  33. Verstappen bemused by lack of pace 16:19

    Verstappen bemused by lack of pace

    Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen was left bemused by a lack of pace as he was unable to progress through to the top 10 shootout…

    F1
  34. Räikkönen: Ferrari not slipping back 16:14

    Räikkönen: Ferrari not slipping back

    Kimi Räikkönen insists that Ferrari is not slipping back, as both he and team-mate Sebastian Vettel were beaten by the…

    F1
  35. Sirotkin cruises to emphatic maiden win 15:42

    Sirotkin cruises to emphatic maiden win

    Rapax driver Sergey Sirotkin ended Stoffel Vandoorne's string of Feature Race wins by cruising to victory at…

    GP2
  36. Massa pleased to out-qualify Ferrari 14:57

    Massa pleased to out-qualify Ferrari

    Felipe Massa expressed his satisfaction after Williams outpaced Ferrari in Saturday's qualifying session for the British Grand…

    F1
  37. Hamilton hails 'special' Silverstone pole 14:47

    Hamilton hails 'special' Silverstone pole

    Lewis Hamilton spoke of his delight after beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to pole position for his home race at…

    F1
  38. 14:14

    British Grand Prix: Qualifying results

    F1
  39. Hamilton beats Rosberg for home pole 14:06

    Hamilton beats Rosberg for home pole

    Lewis Hamilton overcame the threat posed by Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to take pole position for the British Grand Prix…

    F1
  40. 12:55

    Follow qualifying for the British GP!

    F1
  41. 11:06

    British Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    F1
  42. Hamilton quickest in final practice 11:04

    Hamilton quickest in final practice

    Lewis Hamilton set the pace for this first time this weekend during final practice for the British Grand Prix, half a second…

    F1
  43. 09:48

    Follow final practice for the British GP!

    F1
more news