Frank William Dernie (born 3 April 1950) is a veteran British formula 1 engineer with extensive Formula One motorsport experience.
Dernie was brought up in Lancashire and educated at Kirkham Grammar School before he studied engineering at the Imperial College London university. Dernie developed suspension geometry software, seen by senior engineers of Hesketh Formula one team. He joined the Hesketh F1 team for 1976, at the age of 26 designed his first Formula one racing car, the 308E. Frank was the first racing car designer to develop software to aid Formula one car design. Frank Williams hired him to join Patrick Head at Williams in time to design the successful FW07 and FW08 cars. He also invented active suspension for use on the Williams car and developed their wind tunnel facility to improve aerodynamic development. He was the only person developing aerodynamics at Williams during this period. Dernie left Williams in 1988.
For 1989, Dernie joined Lotus, replacing Gérard Ducarouge as Technical Director. However, the team lost major sponsorship and were unable to fund essential R&D to make a competitive car. Ross Brawn, who had worked with Frank at Williams encouraged him to join Benetton for 1991 where he was instrumental in the development of the car, but in particular to improve the race team. At the start of 1992 Dernie was at the Ligier team during the tests where Alain Prost was evaluating the car, noting that he was around 1.5 to 2 seconds quicker than regular driver Boutsen could lap at. Dernie went to Ligier for the 1995 season to become technical director.
He moved to Arrows for 1996 but only stayed for a year. Dernie left Formula One for the first time to join Lola in order to help the team re-establish itself in Champ Cars after MasterCard Lola's disastrous F1 foray in 1997.
- Grandprix.com biography, retrieved 6 December 2006.
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