Chief Designer 2006-2018

Ed Wood

Ed Wood joined Williams in 2006 as Chief Designer & remained with the team for 12 years where he was instrumental in many of the team's successes during that time including the FW36 and FW37 cars which each finished third place in the constructors' championship.

Following a successful career as a motorcycle mechanic working in Grand Prix motorbike racing (MOTOGP these days) & Superbikes, and then as an engineer in sportscars, Ed Wood (not to be confused with the maverick film director of the same name) decided to return to studying, first attending the University of Manchester where he read mechanical engineering, and then Oxford University where he gained a doctorate in engineering science.

Upon graduating in 1998 Ed Wood got a job at Maranello as R&D engineer for the Ferrari F1 team, leaving in 2000 to join Renault F1 (via a short stint with Mitsubishi’s World Rally Championship team) becoming their Senior Development Engineer.

After three years at Renault, he left to join Prodrive who were contracted to run the BAR Formula 1 team under the stewardship of its founder Dave Richards.

Another three year spell at Prodrive ended when Wood left to join Williams in 2006 as Chief Designer where his role was to co-ordinate the team’s car design process.

Ed’s time at Williams was fairly turbulent as the team flip-flopped from one design philosophy to the next & back again with varying degrees of success, and switched key personnel with alarming regularity.

Undoubtedly, among his greatest achievements were the FW36 and FW37 of 2014 and 2015, each taking the team to third place in the F1 constructors championship – a car that could and should have won races.

However, in 2018, after 12 seasons with Williams, after the team’s worst ever start to a season (2019: ‘Hold my beer’), and with the team in the midst of a recruitment drive following Paddy Lowe‘s appointment as Chief Technical Officer & Dirk De Beer as Head of Aerodynamics, Ed Wood decided to leave the team for personal reasons.

It is widely thought that the performance issues that blighted the Williams FW41 contributed to Wood’s departure.

Since leaving Williams, Ed has turned to employment away from Formula 1 and now works in the renewable energy sector where he is Technical Director at Oqda (nah, me neither).

Categories: Team

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