Scott Bennett - January 18, 2010
Almost nobody knows it, but this team has come an unbelievably long way since it was first announced on Speed TV 11 months ago. I was at that press conference, and I was one of the first three or four people to start working on the design of the car shortly afterwards, all of us crowded with our computers around a wobbly conference table in a dreary, poorly configured former Nascar shop. I wish I had taken pictures.
A strange quirk of my career is that every vehicle I have ever been involved in designing (including a few Indycars, an off-road trophy truck, and a composite aircraft) have all been clean sheet of paper designs. I don't know what it's like to start with something that already exists and try to refine it.
When we started this car, we started with nothing but fundamentals. The majority of a modern F1 car is tightly defined by the rules, so there isn't scope these days to come out with a Lotus 88 or Tyrrell P34. But there is still a daunting set of basic parameters that you have to define before you can even start designing anything - things like wheelbase, drivetrain configuration, suspension layout, weight distribution.