Geoffrey Willis is Director of Commercial Engineering of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, a role which he describes as “looking after the digital tools that underpin our technology”.
Having studied engineering at the University of Cambridge, Geoff followed this with several years of aerodynamic research at engineering consultancy BMT, whilst completing a PhD in aerodynamics at the University of Exeter.
In 1987, he made his first step into the world of competition engineering by joining the design group of Peter de Savary's Blue Arrow America's Cup Challenge. Here, he spent the next three years working on keel and hull design, in addition to testing and developing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools.
Geoff made his motorsport debut in 1990, joining the Leyton House team as a consultant and becoming one of the first to introduce CFD tools into the aerodynamic design process. The Williams F1 Team would beckon next and was where Geoff’s reputation grew within the aerodynamics arena, as the team tasted Constructors’ Championship success in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996.
Taking over as Chief Aerodynamicist from Adrian Newey in 1996, Geoff led development of the FW19 as the team took another World Constructors’ Championship title in 1997. He remained with Williams for a further four years, winning races from the start of a partnership with BMW in 2000, before making the switch to BAR in 2002.