Fry says Honda reshuffle was necessary
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, June 23rd 2006, 18:26 GMT|
Honda Racing boss Nick Fry believes his team had no option but to conduct their recent major reshuffle of staff, even though it has resulted in the departure of technical director Geoff Willis.
On the back of a disappointing season, and the team's first point-less outing of the year at Silverstone two weeks ago, the Japanese manufacturer appointed Shuhei Nakamoto as their new senior technical director last week. That move led to Willis ending his duties at the outfit. He is now on gardening leave while he considers his future options.
Although the staffing changes have created controversy, Fry claims that Honda Racing needed to take action if they were going to turnaround their fortunes this season.
"You cannot just keep doing the same old thing," said Fry, speaking for the first time since the announcement about the team changes were made.
"We have tried a lot of detail changes this year and it is not working as well as we would have liked. So then you have to say - well, you can carry on doing the same thing, but it is highly likely that you will end up with the same result."
Fry believes that Willis' departure will be a loss for the team, but that the new structure they have put in place was necessary because of the size of a modern outfit.
"Geoff will clearly be missed. He is a great guy with huge skills but I think a number of Formula One teams in the last year have done similar things.
"Formula One has changed a lot in that it was one or two people doing a lot of the penning of a car, and now we have got over 500 people and a very flat structure with a lot of people doing it."
Fry said that the team would sit down with Willis after the United States Grand Prix to discuss whether there was a chance of him changing his mind and returning to the team.
When asked whether he wanted Willis to stay, Fry said: "That is really for us to discuss with Geoff.
"Obviously there has been a fairly large change in structure at the team. Geoff has got huge skills that will be useful to any F1 team. It is something that is going to be decided mutually, with the structure that we are now putting in place, whether he will want to stay or whether it is appropriate for him to do so."
Should Willis' departure be officially confirmed, then Fry said that the team would not move to sign a replacement.
"We are not planning to bring in another high-profile technical director," he said. "That is not the plan. As I said the whole nature of this change is spreading the load across more people and not bottlenecking it into a highly paid technical director.
"So there are no plans to make a change in that respect. The one thing we have got to do is below Nakamoto; there is some detail that still needs to be sorted out. We have not got to it yet because we are working here."