Frank Dernie

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Frank William Dernie (born 3 April 1950) is a veteran British formula 1 engineer with extensive Formula One motorsport experience.

Career[edit]

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. Patrick Head hired him to become chief designer 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. Dernie left Williams in 1988.

For 1989, Dernie joined Lotus, replacing Gérard Ducarouge as Chief Designer. 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. Frank went to Ligier for the 1995 season to become technical director.[1]

He moved to Arrows for 1996 but only stayed for a year. Frank 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.

In 2002, Dernie left Lola to return to Williams as a consultant engineer in 2003.

He left in early 2007 and in August the same year joined the Toyota F1 team as a consultant in 'aerodynamic and chassis related matters.'[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Engineering changes at Benetton". grandprix.com. 1995-02-06. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  2. ^ "Dernie joins Toyota". grandprix.com. 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  • Grandprix.com biography, retrieved 6 December 2006.