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Sauber chief designer Matt Morris moving to McLaren


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#1 SophieB

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 11:34

McLaren are recruiting.

Matt Morris joins McLaren from Sauber

From the Autosport article in the link:

A McLaren spokesperson said:
"Matt Morris will join McLaren Racing as engineering director once his current contractual situation with Sauber is resolved. Matt will work for our technical director, Tim Goss, to ensure our engineering standards and technical decision-making capabilities are of the highest quality. During a period of intense technical challenge within Formula 1, Matt's appointment is the first step in an ongoing programme to strengthen the engineering department as our organisation prepares for the arrival of Honda in 2015."



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#2 Petroltorque

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:36

You've got to ask what is going on at Woking. Appoints like Sam Michael and Matt Morris suggest that they have lost their way. This year's Sauber was hardly cutting edge.

#3 Seanspeed

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:39

You've got to ask what is going on at Woking. Appoints like Sam Michael and Matt Morris suggest that they have lost their way. This year's Sauber was hardly cutting edge.

These comments always baffle me.

#4 Mousey

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:45

You've got to ask what is going on at Woking. Appoints like Sam Michael and Matt Morris suggest that they have lost their way. This year's Sauber was hardly cutting edge.

Surely the fact that McLaren is hiring senior engineers is a good sign, as the accept that they need to improve things, to get back to being competive? I guess only time will tell if these people can make a difference?

#5 Petroltorque

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:47

These comments always baffle me.

I fail to see what's baffling. Sam Michael remains a middle grade race engineer. Morris has failed to produce a competitive chassis at Sauber. That hardly marks him out. This year's McLaren is well below par for a Grandee team. They don't know if the concept is wrong or they have gone down the wrong development path.
What a team needs is a Visionary designer. They are few of those; Newey, Allison and perhaps James Key. It's for that reason Rory Byrne is involved in the design of the 2014 Ferrari.

#6 Seanspeed

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:49

I fail to see what's baffling. Sam Michael remains a middle grade race engineer. Morris has failed to produce a competitive chassis at Sauber. That hardly marks him out. This year's McLaren is well below par for a Grandee team. They don't know if the concept is wrong or they have gone down the wrong development path.
What a team needs is a Visionary designer. They are few of those; Newey, Allison and perhaps James Key. It's for that reason Rory Byrne is involved in the design of the 2014 Ferrari.

Whats baffling is this idea that one person is responsible for the entire car.

Newey is really the only person in today's F1 that I think really accounts for that much of a car's final competitiveness enough to use these sorts of arguments.

#7 Buttoneer

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:57

I fail to see what's baffling. Sam Michael remains a middle grade race engineer. Morris has failed to produce a competitive chassis at Sauber.

Morris has worked wonders at sauber. It's the Aero team which has failed. Or is it the carbon fibre engineers? Or how about the transmission specialists? Oh I don't know. How come you do? What are your bonafides?

#8 Petroltorque

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:59

One person has to take responsibility for the design concept and direction of car development. That may be based on their particular forte, be it, Vehicle dynamics or aero. But some has got to put their signature on the project. Granted he's not going to design every single component on the car.

#9 10e10

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:59

I fail to see what's baffling. Sam Michael remains a middle grade race engineer. Morris has failed to produce a competitive chassis at Sauber. That hardly marks him out. This year's McLaren is well below par for a Grandee team. They don't know if the concept is wrong or they have gone down the wrong development path.
What a team needs is a Visionary designer. They are few of those; Newey, Allison and perhaps James Key. It's for that reason Rory Byrne is involved in the design of the 2014 Ferrari.


In that case, why did Mercedes hired Pady Lowe? I mean the MP4-28 sucks, and he designed it!

#10 Petroltorque

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 13:04

Morris has worked wonders at sauber. It's the Aero team which has failed. Or is it the carbon fibre engineers? Or how about the transmission specialists? Oh I don't know. How come you do? What are your bonafides?

Last year's successful car was based on James Key's concept. It was he who incorporated the Coanda exhaust concept. Since Key left Sauber lost their way.

#11 Mousey

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 13:21

Last year's successful car was based on James Key's concept. It was he who incorporated the Coanda exhaust concept. Since Key left Sauber lost their way.

Perhaps we should wait and see what he can do with four times the budget, people and facilities??

#12 f1rules

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 13:22

someone described it very nicely in a posts somewhere, i think he was an f1 engineer. The tech director is the guy with a big wallet ready to shop. All the departments aero, mech, cooling, Vehicle dynamics, etc. want part of the money, and lobby that they can produce this this and this. So its the tech directors job to decide where the money is best spent. Where the biggest gains can be achieved. So although they didnt design the thing, they are responsible for concept and risk management, meaning choosing the right decision - so paddy and morris are responsible for the crap cars driving around this year for sauber and mclaren

#13 SophieB

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 13:23

Does this move make it more likely or less likely that James Allison might eventually surface at Woking too?

#14 Mc_Silver

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 13:26

Does this move make it more likely or less likely that James Allison might eventually surface at Woking too?


It does not mean anything for Allison. There is still a great chance McLaren will hire him.

#15 f1rules

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 13:28

One person has to take responsibility for the design concept and direction of car development. That may be based on their particular forte, be it, Vehicle dynamics or aero. But some has got to put their signature on the project. Granted he's not going to design every single component on the car.


exactly

#16 Owen

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 13:42

Does this move make it more likely or less likely that James Allison might eventually surface at Woking too?

Sporting director Sam Michael added: "With the amount of work we have ahead of next year's regulation changes and also the Honda project, it's quite a chunky piece of work. It's happening at the moment but Matt coming will definitely help us add to that engineering strength. I'm looking forward to him joining."
http://www.espn.co.u...ory/112983.html

It does seem like they are bolstering the team for Honda's arrival, which makes me wonder just how much potential effort and resource is being used right here, right now. Perhaps not 100%. Those comments about 'tail off' years are starting to make sense perhaps.

#17 F1EC

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 13:53

so paddy and morris are responsible for the crap cars driving around this year for sauber and mclaren


They may well be. That doesn't necessarily mean that they're bad at their job. But it may mean they're good at their careers.

Edited by F1EC, 28 June 2013 - 13:53.


#18 Lazy

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 14:06

One person has to take responsibility for the design concept and direction of car development. That may be based on their particular forte, be it, Vehicle dynamics or aero. But some has got to put their signature on the project. Granted he's not going to design every single component on the car.

Maybe, but it's not going to be Morris so what's your point?

And seeing as you seem to have some inside information, what are the weaknesses in Morris that you are worried about?

#19 Seanspeed

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 14:12

someone described it very nicely in a posts somewhere, i think he was an f1 engineer. The tech director is the guy with a big wallet ready to shop. All the departments aero, mech, cooling, Vehicle dynamics, etc. want part of the money, and lobby that they can produce this this and this. So its the tech directors job to decide where the money is best spent. Where the biggest gains can be achieved. So although they didnt design the thing, they are responsible for concept and risk management, meaning choosing the right decision - so paddy and morris are responsible for the crap cars driving around this year for sauber and mclaren

Top teams don't hire people that they think aren't good at their jobs.

This is all just lazy, ignorant fingerpointing at the end of the day. We know very little about whats going behind these closed doors.

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#20 pup

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 15:29

Anytime you can bring in someone from another team, they bring with them a new perspective and perhaps some secrets, too. In particular, I'm curious as to what info he might bring about the Williams low-profile gearbox. Obviously any info he had in its design wasn't of use to Sauber, who don't construct their own, but to McLaren/Honda, it may well be of benefit.

#21 ATM_Andy

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 15:37

You've got to ask what is going on at Woking. Appoints like Sam Michael and Matt Morris suggest that they have lost their way. This year's Sauber was hardly cutting edge.


You're only as good as your last game huh? Glad your not my boss :smoking:

#22 Buttoneer

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 15:44

Last year's successful car was based on James Key's concept. It was he who incorporated the Coanda exhaust concept. Since Key left Sauber lost their way.

In other words, you don't have any.

#23 WitnessX

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 15:54

Anytime you can bring in someone from another team, they bring with them a new perspective and perhaps some secrets, too. In particular, I'm curious as to what info he might bring about the Williams low-profile gearbox. Obviously any info he had in its design wasn't of use to Sauber, who don't construct their own, but to McLaren/Honda, it may well be of benefit.


Indeed. Perhaps "Chief designer" was not/is his forte and possibly lacks aerodynamic experience. However his role as "Engineering Director" looks a better fit, it fills Tim Goss's old role which free's Tim Goss.

Lets not forget although this years Sauber isn't the best performance wise, he did manage to engineer the side-pods to a shoe box size.

1997 Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Coventry University
1997–1998 Training programme for young engineers (Cosworth)
1998–1999 Design and Development Engineer F1 Engines (Cosworth)
1999 Design and Development Engineer WRC Engines (Cosworth)
1999–2002 Race and Test Engineer WRC (Cosworth)
2002–2003 Senior Design Engineer WRC (Cosworth)
2003–2006 Senior System Engineer, Race Team (Williams)
2006–2011 Head of Design for Transmissions & Power Transfer (Williams)
April 2011 Head of Mechanical Design (Sauber F1 Team)
July 2011 - Sauber F1 Team, Chief Designer



#24 Petroltorque

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 16:22

Top teams don't hire people that they think aren't good at their jobs.

This is all just lazy, ignorant fingerpointing at the end of the day. We know very little about whats going behind these closed doors.

That logic would suggest that organisations don't make mistakes with regards to appointments. Sam Michael is a case in point. I was amazed when McLaren hired this guy. He was FIRED from Williams, ( I know the press release says he resigned, but the reality was the opposite). Even allowing for his change in role his hiring left me speechless.

#25 SonJR

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 16:26

Interesting that Morris was at Williams at the same time as Michael. Wonder if there's anything to that, like a recommendation of sorts.

#26 bogi

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 16:27

Here is the guy,







He is also young for senior role (1974)

Edited by bogi, 28 June 2013 - 16:30.


#27 Petroltorque

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 16:28

In other words, you don't have any.

I fail to see your point. Are you asking me to post my professional qualifications to substantiate my opinion?

#28 mattferg

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 16:57

Isn't that twice in a row now? I swear their designer last year went to TR

#29 bogi

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 18:28

Analysis: McLaren's new tech signing Matt Morris

While Morris has been the figurehead of the Sauber design team in terms of public speaking, he was not the team's technical director. Sauber is unique in that it has not employed anyone in that position since James Key left on the eve of the 2012 season.

Instead, the heads of different technical departments work collectively, meaning Morris shared the key duties with Sauber's well-regarded head of aero, Willem Toet.

In fact, Morris probably does not even get heavily involved in the drawing element of the design of the car as his role is to manage the design office staff to achieve this.

Effectively, Morris was responsible for the Sauber chassis, which in contemporary Formula 1 has to fit within the envelope created by Toet's aerodynamic department.


http://www.autosport...t.php/id/108380

#30 One

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 19:51

Interesting.

I only think that now James Alison will NOT join Mclaren, but to join... Ferrari?

#31 Mousey

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 21:41

Analysis: McLaren's new tech signing Matt Morris



http://www.autosport...t.php/id/108380

I think this is a really interesting summary.... If you look at what Morris has made happen over the past few years Sauber, I think it is pretty impressive? Last years exhaust layout on the Sauber, which was one of the first that worked straight out of the box? This year side pods, that everyone said wouldn't cool and it appears they do? I imagine doing this on Saubers budget, or lack of it, is pretty impressive?? Ultimately he is not an Aero, but appears to be able to grant their wishes and make a reliable car. Maybe with some good Aero guidance and support, he could be a good asset to McLaren?? I think he also did the super low gearbox at Williams, which I guess was Aero driven?? Or, maybe, he gives Aero too much of what they want, instead of questioning them?? Anyway, it is about time McLaren hired some fresh blood and I hope he can really help them out of this low.. With all the Aero regulations changing and effectively becoming 'less' important, maybe these sort of people become more valuable. Will the 2014 performance differentiators be the engine performance and packaging, cooling, ERS, transmission, weight, fuel consumption, efficiency, electronics....? Looking at his CV, he seems to know something about these things?? Everybody wants Newey (and I am not comparing Morris to Newey) but how much of this is he good at?? Newey himself is worried the way the 2014 regulations have gone, maybe because he is worried that the Aero is not going to be the ultimate performance differentiator. This also seems to be a change in McLarens approach to hiring, as they usually promote from within and very rarely take senior people from other teams? I cant remember when the hired, and actually poached, someone senior from another team?? Maybe they will follow the Mercedes theme, in their hiring over the past few years?? Anyway, plenty there for thought........ :)

#32 Petroltorque

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 07:36

Without wanting to give my age away I can remember Newey when he was at Leyton House, and though the regs were looser, it illustrated that he was well grounded in all aspects of car design.
Sauber's position also illustrates the folly of the design by committee. What any small team needs is an experienced TD/ Designer with enough experience in aero/ dynamics that he's not distracted by development dead ends. Someone has got to sign off the initial concept/ final design and allow the various dpartments to concentrate on detailing.

#33 ZooL

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 13:42

Not good enough. Sauber car is rubbish and Hulkenburg is probably laughing his head off...

It doesn't inspire me and is a pretty poor replacement for someone of the calibre of Paddy Lowe.

#34 10e10

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 13:58

Not good enough. Sauber car is rubbish and Hulkenburg is probably laughing his head off...

It doesn't inspire me and is a pretty poor replacement for someone of the calibre of Paddy Lowe.


Paddy is well known and respected, but we can't forget that he designed the 28, so he can make mistakes as anyone else. We can't know if people are up to the job until they actually do it. I would be much happier if they announce that Allison was going to McLaren, but I can't say that hiring Morris is bad.

#35 ZooL

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 14:11

Paddy is well known and respected, but we can't forget that he designed the 28, so he can make mistakes as anyone else. We can't know if people are up to the job until they actually do it. I would be much happier if they announce that Allison was going to McLaren, but I can't say that hiring Morris is bad.

I think they need someone like Allison just for the inspiration. Management and the lead driver won't inspire the shop floor staff.

I've always thought in F1 to succeed the team needs somone to look up to and keep the faith. Usually a driver plays the role and the rest fits into place. But since Perez is on a long term contract and Button had his salary increased to match Hamilton's I think they are locked in with the drivers so have to look to engineering personnel.

If I was running the team I would have hired Allison and Raikkonen for next year and paid Button off, he's too expensive for his skill set.

That would be inspirational and would have got the team looking forward again. Instead Ferrari and Redbull will take them respectively.

Edited by ZooL, 29 June 2013 - 14:12.


#36 10e10

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 14:32

I think they need someone like Allison just for the inspiration. Management and the lead driver won't inspire the shop floor staff.

I've always thought in F1 to succeed the team needs somone to look up to and keep the faith. Usually a driver plays the role and the rest fits into place. But since Perez is on a long term contract and Button had his salary increased to match Hamilton's I think they are locked in with the drivers so have to look to engineering personnel.

If I was running the team I would have hired Allison and Raikkonen for next year and paid Button off, he's too expensive for his skill set.

That would be inspirational and would have got the team looking forward again. Instead Ferrari and Redbull will take them respectively.


I have to agree with this. They need someone to take the reigns when things start to turn bad.

#37 pup

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 17:29

Why are you guys so down on them hiring Morris? Their press release clearly says that his hire is a "first step". There will be more hires to come, and Allison very well may be one of them. In fact, I think the main point to take away from this is that McLaren are actively going after outside talent. And the fact that they mentioned Honda is a good reminder that they will soon have a much larger budget to go after these guys.

Edited by pup, 29 June 2013 - 17:31.


#38 ZooL

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 17:38

Why are you guys so down on them hiring Morris? Their press release clearly says that his hire is a "first step". There will be more hires to come, and Allison very well may be one of them. In fact, I think the main point to take away from this is that McLaren are actively going after outside talent. And the fact that they mentioned Honda is a good reminder that they will soon have a much larger budget to go after these guys.

Honda are coming into F1 to supply engines to multiple teams, they are not exclusive partners to McLaren.
I don't think Honda will be funding McLaren like Merc did, they won't be buying shares in the team and give them free spending money like Merc did.
All McLaren will get is free engines.

#39 Petroltorque

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 17:40

Morris is not going to Macca in a design role as that is clearly not his forte. In fairness to McLaren, Tim Goss is no Mug and in Neil Oatley, they have the designer of the best modern F1 cat to hit the race track.
Personally I think Paddy Lowe got lulled into following his contemporary at Ferrari ( Pat Fry) and designing a pull rod front end. That suspension geometry has failed to deliver the gains expected and comes with a steep learning curve.
I have heard, and this fills me with dread, that James Allison has already signed for Red bull. That would just about put an exclamation mark on that outfit. Newey, Marshall and Allison. We could hand them the championship for the next 5 years and save everyone a sh1t load of money.

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#40 Anonymous

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 17:41

Honda are coming into F1 to supply engines to multiple teams, they are not exclusive partners to McLaren.
I don't think Honda will be funding McLaren like Merc did, they won't be buying shares in the team and give them free spending money like Merc did.
All McLaren will get is free engines.


This bullshit right here, haha oh wow.

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Edited by Anonymous, 29 June 2013 - 17:41.


#41 Lemans

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 19:52

Reading this article and given the slight improvement of the 28, I'm wondering if Matt Morris's presence is already being felt?
http://www.autosport...t.php/id/108380

The article indicates that McLaren have found a flaw in their design process and have addressed it with signing Morris.


#42 10e10

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 23:36

Reading this article and given the slight improvement of the 28, I'm wondering if Matt Morris's presence is already being felt?
http://www.autosport...t.php/id/108380

The article indicates that McLaren have found a flaw in their design process and have addressed it with signing Morris.


Let's hope we see advances in the next couple seasons. This team is really needing to win, specially the long missed WCC.

#43 f1rules

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 06:50

Reading this article and given the slight improvement of the 28, I'm wondering if Matt Morris's presence is already being felt?
http://www.autosport...t.php/id/108380

The article indicates that McLaren have found a flaw in their design process and have addressed it with signing Morris.


reading the article, i understand the reason signing him, still if he was responsible for risk management and choosing the right concepts at sauber, he sure didnt do a good job, did he
well lets hope for the best

#44 Force Ten

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 07:15

reading the article, i understand the reason signing him, still if he was responsible for risk management and choosing the right concepts at sauber, he sure didnt do a good job, did he
well lets hope for the best

Where the hell did you get THAT? NOWHERE in the article was it suggested that he was responsibe for risk management and choosing the right concepts. If anything, it was the exact opposite - his job was to implement concepts chosen by other people.

An obvious example of this loop is Sauber's ultra-slim sidepods. The aero department would have had the idea and this demanded repackaging of the radiators, crash structures and electronics.

It needed Morris's team to confirm this would be possible without offsetting the aerodynamic advantage with reduced cooling capacity or additional weight.


It's like when you are building a bridge. An architect designs a really fancy bridge with lightweight and semi invisible pillars, that appears to stand in thin air. He simply draws a really fancy object on paper. Then that drawing is sent to the desk of a structural engineer that translates the drawing into real world materials, structures and construction guidelines so that the bridge wouldn't collapse when a mouse farts towards it's general direction.

This is not risk management. This is basic structural design engineering.

#45 jjcale

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 07:57

Reading this article and given the slight improvement of the 28, I'm wondering if Matt Morris's presence is already being felt?
http://www.autosport...t.php/id/108380

The article indicates that McLaren have found a flaw in their design process and have addressed it with signing Morris.


Meh... another member of the borg.

Any chance of hiring an actual star from another team?

#46 Force Ten

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 08:01


Meh... another member of the borg.

Easier to plug them into the matrix make them "live and breathe McLaren".

#47 f1rules

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 11:13

Where the hell did you get THAT? NOWHERE in the article was it suggested that he was responsibe for risk management and choosing the right concepts. If anything, it was the exact opposite - his job was to implement concepts chosen by other people.



It's like when you are building a bridge. An architect designs a really fancy bridge with lightweight and semi invisible pillars, that appears to stand in thin air. He simply draws a really fancy object on paper. Then that drawing is sent to the desk of a structural engineer that translates the drawing into real world materials, structures and construction guidelines so that the bridge wouldn't collapse when a mouse farts towards it's general direction.

This is not risk management. This is basic structural design engineering.


my bad, i read the article incorrect(to fast), i thought he would be the one choosing concepts

#48 Nobody

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 18:05

Meh... another member of the borg.

Any chance of hiring an actual star from another team?


Should I book your seat on the bandwagon now?

As a fan, I'll assume there will be one soon enough

#49 Petroltorque

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 05:23

Morris's expertise is in powertrains, not design engineering. I suspect Mclaren have hired him to smooth the packaging of the Honda unit to the chassis.

#50 F1Champion

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 10:38

James Key is the key really. Morris designed last year's car under Key's influence, so both are responsible for that car. But Key has left and the car design has suffered, and he has popped up at Toro Rosso and they are doing well. Its always difficult to separate the TD from the Chief Designer. The TD selects the areas to make the car fast, but that Chief Designer commands the design team and has a major influence, so this is a good appointment. But I think McLaren need JK to control the design team.