Official: Mercedes appoints Willis and Costa
30 September 2011 – Mercedes GP has announced that Geoff Willis and Aldo Costa, former Technical Directors of HRT and Ferrari respectively, have now joined the Anglo-German outfit. Willis will assume the role of Head of Aerodynamics from 17 October as Costa starts in his position as Engineering Director on 1 December.
Although the double move to the squad has been anticipated for several weeks, the news was officially confirmed as Mercedes issued a press release on Friday morning. Both men will be working alongside Technical Director Bob Bell, formerly at Renault, as Willis takes on responsibility for aerodynamics while Costa is reunited with Team Principal Ross Brawn, with whom has previously worked at Ferrari.
“I am delighted to announce that Aldo Costa and Geoff Willis will be joining Mercedes GP,” says Ross Brawn. “Geoff is a highly respected engineer with over twenty years of Formula 1 experience and we look forward to his arrival next month. Having worked closely with Aldo for many years, I know that he will bring dedication and championship-winning expertise to the team when he joins in December…with a strong technical structure led by Bob Bell, we are moving ourselves into the best possible position to achieve our ambitions.”
Willis’ new position will mean a return to Brackley, where he worked when the team was running under its BAR and Honda guises between 2001 and 2006. He was then Technical Director at Red Bull between 2007 and 2009 before moving to HRT in 2010. After spending eight years with Minardi, Costa joined Ferrari in 1996 and was part of the ‘dream team’ which took the Scuderia to multiple Constructors’ crowns between 1999 and 2004 plus five Drivers’ world titles with Michael Schumacher.
“Since Mercedes GP was formed as a new team in early 2010, we have been putting in place the building blocks for success,” explains Norbert Haug, Vice President for Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. “Our technical organisation was strengthened by the arrival of Bob Bell and, working closely with Ross, he has identified the areas where we can improve still further.
“Aldo and Geoff will reinforce our technical management and bring the experience required to harness the talents of our people in Brackley; we have also recruited and invested at other levels in order to maximise our competitiveness under the Resource Restriction Agreement. Our goal remains to progress step-by-step in order to establish ourselves as a front-running team for the long term, in-line with the tradition of the Mercedes-Benz silver arrows.”