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Why is Gascoyne not a bigger name?


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#1 Boing 2

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:05

just read he's suing Force India for their dismissal of him one year before the end of his contract.

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when he worked for Tyrrell he always helped produce great little cars on a shoestring and was highly regarded by Postlethwaite. He got jordan from nowhere to a one two at spa in half a season and they went on to fight for the title the next year, even the year after that they were still fast (pole i think with trulli) but fragile.

He went to Toyota and their form was probably the best it's ever been during his stay but since then it's been dead end jobs at the back of the grid :confused: i think he's one of the best tech guys in the sport why the hell is he getting fired by teams like force india?

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#2 potmotr

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:07

There's quite a bit about this in last year's Force India thread mate.

#3 le chat noir

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:09

big ego works well in small teams where he can lead, not so good in big teams where he's part of the team, not leader. i think he'd be hard to work with at mclaren or ferrari, might do well at red bull if they didn't have newey and co already. pat head would hate him i think

#4 TwoCents

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:16

Nice salary he was on. Would that be the average for a technical director in a team?

#5 Timstr11

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:23

Originally posted by le chat noir
big ego works well in small teams where he can lead, not so good in big teams where he's part of the team, not leader. i think he'd be hard to work with at mclaren or ferrari, might do well at red bull if they didn't have newey and co already. pat head would hate him i think

Apparently he did not do well at a small team like Force India either, otherwise he would still be there. Clearly not someone who compromises easily.

Still I don't know why he left.
Is it becuase he did not agree with the direction Vijay took to source the whole back end from Mclaren, rather than designing their own gearbox, suspension and KERS units?

#6 Nobody

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:31

Originally posted by le chat noir
big ego works well in small teams where he can lead, not so good in big teams where he's part of the team, not leader. i think he'd be hard to work with at mclaren or ferrari, might do well at red bull if they didn't have newey and co already. pat head would hate him i think


He was quite good at Bennetton, a medium sized team at least.

#7 HP

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:41

There was a nice interview with him on autosport a few years ago.

To me he came across as someone one needs to give a lot of room to maneuver. I don't think it's all about his ego. One of his abilities is to get the best out of a smaller outfit. In other words he understands how to organize things from a technical perspective. Bigger outfits usually don't need that.

When Mallya took over the team and shared his outlook on the team, I thought that would give troubles with him and Gascoine. Their ideas of running a team differs too much.

#8 One

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:48

I like Gascoine and wha he did. Jordans and Tyrrells were great car for the spirits.

I guess he took himself too serious, lately especially he got himself into the battle on power at the Toyota Team. Developing two race cars per season was one of his idea, which he seems to have nailed/proved the exact advantage. I guess running several wind tunnels to improve performance of last year's Force India was a kind of sad as the chassis were reused and reused from Jordan days...

#9 Boing 2

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 13:00

Originally posted by Timstr11
Apparently he did not do well at a small team like Force India either, otherwise he would still be there. Clearly not someone who compromises easily.


maybe not but when you're a proven top flight talent maybe you shouldn't be too keen to compromise?

#10 Boing 2

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 13:05

Originally posted by Nobody


He was quite good at Bennetton, a medium sized team at least.


totally forgot about benneton :o wasn't it gascoigne who started the idea of two design teams doing alternate years cars? don't even know if they're still doing that now.

#11 Jackman

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 13:16

Originally posted by Timstr11
Still I don't know why he left.
Is it becuase he did not agree with the direction Vijay took to source the whole back end from Mclaren, rather than designing their own gearbox, suspension and KERS units?

Gascoyne and Kolles were constantly fighting each other for control: eventually Mallya got sick of the arguments and sacked them both.

#12 Timstr11

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 14:24

Originally posted by Jackman
Gascoyne and Kolles were constantly fighting each other for control: eventually Mallya got sick of the arguments and sacked them both.

I want to hear more detail than that, but thanks anyway. :)

#13 lustigson

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 15:12

Gascoyne took both Jordan and Benetton/Renault to victories when he had enough room to do his own thing. Sadly he didn't get that room at Toyota, otherwise things might have been different, today. Sadly Force India sacked him, and I wonder who will pick him up next. Perhaps the days of a single Technical Director carrying the entire design and build process are over, and design teams are more democratic, these days.

#14 Jackman

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 15:26

Gascoyne never carried the entire design and build process - quite the opposite if you ask anyone who worked with him - but to be fair to him he was always good as organising the work product and inspiring the guys to work hard, one way or another.

#15 AyePirate

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 15:38

I wonder whatever happened to Eghbal Hamidy. He seemed to be a hot property as a designer at the turn of the century and then pffth he was gone.

#16 Jackman

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 15:43

Gascoyne is Santa Claus compared to Hamidy: he just ran out of teams that were willing to put up with him.

#17 noikeee

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 16:31

I wonder why on earth is Gascoyne so well known on these message boards, yet if you ask me who's the designers of the current winning cars at McLaren, Ferrari, BMW and Renault I have no idea - and I'm not convinced most people in these boards know either.

I'm not trying to belittle his work, obviously he has had success in certain parts of his career, I'm just wondering if his reputation among the fans really has a relation to reality, when compared to other people in F1.

#18 John B

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 17:29

A bit OT, but it's kind of amusing/ironic that his name is spelled at least three ways in a thread about why he isn't a bigger name......;)

#19 zg1972

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 17:52

Every now and then, when the circumstances conspire the right way, a name springs up as a new designer superstar. Of course, such one off events have little to do with the intrinsic qualities of the designers. It's merely the process of satisfying insatiable needs of press and marketing industry.

Now, don't get me wrong: the designers in F1 are good engineers, some of them are better, some are worse, some are brinlliant but none is really bad. But when somebody like Gascoyne, Hamidy or Nick Wirth 15 or so years ago is hyped up the way they are, the reason is clear: star system of press needs to feed! You have to look no further than how Rory Byrne was never hyped up that way - probably he was too old when the era of young hot-property cover-page designers dawned.

Call me cynical but if somebody gets a half decent car, it doesn't make him necessarily a great designer. The media are what fabricates "stars".

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#20 AyePirate

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 18:16

Originally posted by Jackman
Gascoyne is Santa Claus compared to Hamidy: he just ran out of teams that were willing to put up with him.


Thanks! He must have been quite l'enfant terrible to have gone the through all of his bridges that fast.

#21 potmotr

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 18:23

Maybe calling a spade a spade is much more suitable to little teams like Tyrrell and Jordan than the big corporate monsters of today.

Force India will no doubt settle, which will go quite nicely with the massive settlement Gascoyne no doubt got from Toyota.

#22 panzani

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 18:23

Answering the OP question "why is gasgoine not a bigger name?" perhaps because Gascoyne already is...who knows...;)

#23 Ivan

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 19:11

One of the main reasons is that he builds a good car but then leaves the team before he finishes anything. He left Jordan just as his cars were coming good, to get a bigger pay packet. At one point he was making far more than Brawn, Newey & Symonds who have championships to their name. He seems to be all about the money, not the glory. Which in my mind would bring more money anyway.

#24 WACKO

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 20:28

Originally posted by Boing 2
just read he's suing Force India for their dismissal of him one year before the end of his contract.

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He went to Toyota and their form was probably the best it's ever been during his stay but since then it's been dead end jobs at the back of the grid :confused: i think he's one of the best tech guys in the sport why the hell is he getting fired by teams like force india?


Gascoyne came in at Toyota and Spyker with high expectations all cheers and he didn't live up to it. There was improvement at Force India last year, there was at Toyota but not enough to keep everyone satisfied and on top of that Gascoyne is a pretty strong personality. Such, that you can only lower the voices you go against by delivering undisputable results.

#25 undersquare

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 20:59

Well Marmorini has just walked away from Toyota, and Howett mentioned a conservative strategy on kers being imposed, as one of the reasons. Also I remember Eddie Jordan being publicly ticked off by The Rottweiler for messing about with a girlie photoshoot when the cars were ready to be wheeled out for qualifying :lol: . And VJ has been pretty upfront about calling FI "my team" and he's clearly quite hands-on.

It's hard to know how much of Gascoyne's recent lack of achievement is his ability. and how much is just being limited by his last two teams with clashes over control, but I suspect he's been wasted at least in part.

#26 undersquare

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 21:20

The point I was trying to make above is that he just wasn't born to execute someone else's policy, and a team that takes him on to do that is making a mistake. Because his last two teams did just that, we don't really know what he could have achieved given more scope.

I don't think it's right to label him a money-grabber, he only made one move for a lot more money, and that was also a move to a much bigger team with a lot more resources and potential. Who can sit at their keyboard and say they'd have turned that offer down?

#27 Nobody

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 09:14

Originally posted by Boing 2


totally forgot about benneton :o wasn't it gascoigne who started the idea of two design teams doing alternate years cars? don't even know if they're still doing that now.


I don't know if it was MG that implemented the two design idea, but interesting to note that he and Bob Bell worked together at McLaren (briefly), but also Jordan and Benetton during times when these teams reached some success. Once MG left Bennetton/Renault and Bell was promoted as his replacement, the team's fortunes improved once again, reaching the pinnacle in '05 & '06.

#28 Josta

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 10:16

Originally posted by undersquare
And VJ has been pretty upfront about calling FI "my team" and he's clearly quite hands-on.


It's not though. It is his and Michiel Mol's team.

#29 stevewf1

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 17:06

Found this article from 2006: http://motorracing.b...t-gascoyne.html in which there is this quote.

Then again, perhaps Mike Gascoyne's temprement, that earned him the nickname "bulldog" rubbed a few people the wrong way.


I can't quote a source for my opinion, but I read once that while Gascoyne produced results, he was basically a "prick" to work with.

#30 Karpow

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 17:17

GASCOYNE

It's bigger now.

#31 Bloggsworth

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 20:27

Originally posted by stevewf1
I can't quote a source for my opinion, but I read once that while Gascoyne produced results, he was basically a "prick" to work with.


I think that should read "Once in a while Gascoyne produced results"

#32 whatto999

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 20:52

It was a big disappointment for me.

Probably he wasn't the best techie out there but he was a very good manager. 90s shaped his mindset and when he got connected with FI two years ago it was a "dream combination" for both sides.

Think there was power battle of some kind in FI last year, but i'm somehow convinced Mallya's deal with McM did only speed up his decision. And i'm not sure Mike would be there for too long even if he didn't got fired.

Anyway :mad:

#33 Pilla

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 22:19

I thought Anderson was the guy who pulled Jordan to the front of the grid?

Whatever happened to that Sergio Rinland guy from Sauber and then Arrows he pulled Sauber up to 4th (or was it 3rd) and Arrows were regular points contenders under him, until they couldn't afford to run any more.

#34 Scaramanga

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 03:27

The real issue isn't Gascoyne, its that engineering and development of something as complex as a F1 car isn't about a single individual. The existence of a 'designer superstar' is a canard.

Its failure to expect someone like Gascoyne, Willis, or a Newey could come in and turn a team around. There is no magic bullet, no panacea, that can solve systemic problems or lack of competitiveness. Hiring one individual, and overpaying for them, seems like a reasonable solution when you abstract your challenges, but ultimately, there are areas where resources can be better spent.`

#35 Rubens Hakkamacher

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:54

Because it's smaller than "Mr. Luxury Yacht" or "Throatwobbler Mangrove".


Also because it would seem that while everyone in F1 acknowledges a team can't become a front runner in 1 or 2 seasons, Gascoyne seems to have been left out to dry right when his work was going to pay off?

#36 stevewf1

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:33

Originally posted by Bloggsworth
I think that should read "Once in a while Gascoyne produced results"


I'll go with that. :wave:

#37 andy-i

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 15:43

He is, you just spelt it wrong.
http://en.wikipedia..../Paul_Gascoigne

I remember the heady days of Italia90 :D with that brilliant (pavarotti) music intro. Hint to the BBC, we want a good theme for F1!

It's a real shame what's happened to him, he was way more talented them someone like Beckham, just couldn't handle the pressure :cry:

#38 pUs

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 17:00

I've got this impression that he's been switching teams quite often. Might not be something unique to him, but that's my impression anyway during the last 10 years.

Apart from that, I don't know why he's not a "bigger" name, as the topic suggests. I'd say he's been quite a big name, at least during his spells at Jordan and Toyota.

#39 bradleyl

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 17:20

He's one of the very few technical directors to have been on the cover of Autosport, so he's probably pretty high profile in relative terms. But his cars have also won a grand total of less than half a dozen races, I think...

Generally, Mike has moved on before the teams he's been with have hit the heights (that was certainly the case with Renault); he used a rising reputation as a very effective calling card to grow his salary on each move up to his position at Toyota. Is that because he can't take the extra step and see a project through? Probably not, and he'd certainly argue that by the time a team is headed in the right direction, much of his work is done.

Mike's not a 'design guy' in the way Newey is; he's an organiser and a motivator, who will bash heads together and take tough, uncompromising decisions to sort a team out. He thrives, I think, on the conflict that brings - and arguably, might struggle in a more harmonious environment where it was a question of tickling on an effective design group that's performing well. That's my take on it, at least.

As for his departure from FIF1, I'm sure that will come out in the wash of the court case...

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#40 Ioki

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 22:12

It's because he's about 4ft 2in :lol:

Brad hasn't Bob Bell been on the cover of autosport as well? Could have sworn I've seen him on there.

Anyway, the stuff I've heard about Mike is his liking for the rather striking four letter word starting with c!

#41 bradleyl

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 23:05

Not to my knowledge, no. Not really Bob's style.

As for Mike, didn't know he liked carp so much? Maybe him and Ross go fishing?! ;)

#42 vmk

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 23:31

When he subsequently joined Force India at the end of 2007, he said: "I have said to (team owner) Vijay (Mallya): if at the end of next year we are still in last place, then I should already have been dismissed. And rightly so."

Quote from an other site.

#43 Timstr11

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:36

Gascoyne's open job application on autosport.com

Where can he go? Who would want him?

#44 bogi

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:39

He is wasted in F1.

#45 Paul Prost

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:04

Originally posted by bradleyl

Mike's not a 'design guy' in the way Newey is; he's an organiser and a motivator, who will bash heads together and take tough, uncompromising decisions to sort a team out. He thrives, I think, on the conflict that brings - and arguably, might struggle in a more harmonious environment where it was a question of tickling on an effective design group that's performing well. That's my take on it, at least.

:lol: Never truer words spoken!

For those who say 'he did so well at Jordan'...well he took over a Gary Anderson car..stuck on a Tyrell front wing (he took the drawings with him)..and presto. Have a look at the people he had working under him.

Bob Bell
John Illey
Jon Tomlinson
Dino Toso
Sam Michael

Notice something there? Also note that all of these staff (except Sam Michael) followed him to Renault.

Mike was apparently quite good at shouting at people, making fun of gingers, and screaming 'push...push you c*nts!' to model makers.

Mike represents everything that is wrong with F1..too many people with their heads up their bums with massive egos and over-inflated opinions of their own abilities, thinking that they have reached 'the pinnacle'.

In F1, as in life...those who can..do..quietly. Those who can't, make a big song and dance and talk about how magnificent they are.

#46 Timstr11

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:25

Originally posted by Paul Prost
Mike was apparently quite good at shouting at people, making fun of gingers, and screaming 'push...push you c*nts!' to model makers.

:lol:

#47 Madras

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 12:10

Originally posted by Paul Prost



Mike was apparently quite good at shouting at people, making fun of gingers, and screaming 'push...push you c*nts!' to model makers.


That's the impression I have of him too. And lets face it, if the worst team on the grid don't want him he cant be that great...

#48 taran

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 13:55

It seems as if many people consider MG's choice to accept a better job (e.g. better paying and/or access to more resources to build a car) as something of a character flaw. He left Jordan to go to Renault (if a driver did that, he'd have traded up) and then accepted the most prized techie job in the biz, the head role at Toyota, the team everybody feared at that time as the next super team because of its unlimited ambition and budget.

I don't know if MG is a prickly character to work with/for or not. But there aren't much complaints coming from most teams he is associated with. He only fell out as far as I know with Toyota and Force India. Toyota is famous for its corporate philosophy which it also uses in F1, as did Honda. Both companies had difficulty retaining their top designers and both horribly underperformed. I am sure that was not a coincidence.
Brawn only signed up for Honda with the understanding that he would run the team as he saw fit. MG probably tried to do the same, in an effort to run the team as a sporting organization which clashed with the more corporate procedures of Toyota. Without overwhelming success on the track (which may have been impossible without the overhaul he wanted), his departure was inevitable.

The Force India thing was equally inevitable (and MG could only join such a small team, otherwise Toyota would have enforced his gardening leave as they were terrified he'd join Honda at the time). Anyone who has seen how Vijay operates must see that a highly respected tech director would fall foul of the brash billionaire's egotripping. Vijay is the dominant personality in FI and he wants immediate success, even if that means buying as many components as necessary. I am sure MG is more of a traditionalist in that he wanted to design and develop a genuine Force India car rather than assemble a McLaren knock off.

#49 Ultra150

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 16:08

Originally posted by John B
A bit OT, but it's kind of amusing/ironic that his name is spelled at least three ways in a thread about why he isn't a bigger name......;)


:smoking: :up: :up: :up: