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THE TEAM

TECHNICAL TEAM BIOGRAPHIES

Jonathan Neale

Managing Director, McLaren Racing

Jonathan Neale, born 19th August 1962, graduated from Nottingham University with a physics degree in 1984, and joined Phillips Defence Systems shortly after. This technical-based role saw Jonathan’s work focus on semi conductor design, software and electronic warfare systems for submarines and surface ships. In 1991 Jonathan moved to BAE SYSTEMS as a Project Design Engineer on turboprop aircraft, and his managerial capabilities soon saw his role develop within the company. In 1995 he gained a Masters Degree from Manchester University (MBA) and was promoted to Operations and Support Director for Regional Jets and by 1999 Jonathan had moved to the defence programme to take charge, as Managing Director, of the prestigious Hawk Fast Jet Programme.

Jonathan joined McLaren Racing, as Operations Director in 2001 taking on responsibility for the manufacturing processes, supply chain, transport and logistics and purchasing at the company. In April 2004, Jonathan was appointed Managing Director, which increased his responsibilities to include the engineering departments, enabling him to become more involved in the technical strategy and direction of McLaren Racing.

Paddy Lowe

Engineering Director, McLaren Racing

Paddy Lowe graduated with an engineering degree from Cambridge University in 1984. In 1987 Paddy, who was born on 8th April 1962, joined the Williams Formula 1 team as the Joint Head of Electronics. He moved to McLaren in 1993 as Head of Research and Development. For eight years he ran the Research and Development department, later renamed ‘Vehicle Technology’. In 2001, he was appointed Chief Engineer – Systems Development. This was a role focused on the specification and development of the race programme for the MP4-20. In May 2005 Paddy was appointed Engineering Director, taking responsibility for all of the engineering departments within McLaren Racing.

Neil Oatley

Design and Development Director, McLaren Racing

Neil Oatley graduated with an automotive engineering degree from Loughborough University in 1976. Late in 1977 Neil, who was born 12th June 1954, took a position in the drawing office of the Williams Formula 1 team as a design draughtsman, and during the seven years spent with the team he also assumed the role of race engineer. At the end of 1984 Neil was recruited to be the Joint Chief Designer of the Force Formula 1 team and two years later he joined McLaren. In 1988 Neil was promoted to Chief Designer, in charge of the design group for the following years’ challenger, the MP4/5. Neil's current role as Design and Development Director has him overseeing the car specification and design programme, defining the specification for each race and supervising the build and approval processes for each new component.

Simon Lacey

Head of Aerodynamics, McLaren Racing.

Simon Lacey born 9th June 1971, graduated with a 1st class honours degree in engineering from Cambridge University. In 1995 Simon accepted a job at the Williams Formula 1 team as an aerodynamicist. He remained with Williams until 1998 before moving to the BAR Honda Formula 1 team as Joint Head of Aerodynamics, whilst the team was still in its infancy. Simon joined McLaren Racing in November 2006 as Head of Aerodynamics and is responsible for the technical focus of the aerodynamics department, delivering as much aerodynamic performance as quickly as possible to the race cars.

Tim Goss

Chief Engineer MP4-23, McLaren Racing

Tim Goss has been working in Motorsport since 1986 after completing his post graduate studies at Imperial College, London. His first role within the sport was in Cosworth Engineering. In 1990 Tim, who was born 28th February 1963, joined McLaren Racing as a design engineer responsible for engine installation. During his time at McLaren Tim has taken on many roles including Project Leader for Systems, responsible for engine installation, Assistant Race Engineer to Mika Hakkinen, Chief Test Team Engineer; he was head of Vehicle Dynamics from 1998-2001 and became Chief Engineer – Powertrain in 2001. Tim's current role as Chief Engineer MP4-23 sees him responsible for the specification and development of the 2008 race car.

Pat Fry

Chief Engineer MP4-24, McLaren Racing

Pat Fry, born 17th March 1964, began his career in engineering in 1981 as an apprentice with Thorn EMI which saw him progressing to work with their missile programmes. Having spent time designing suspension systems for motorbikes in his free time he decided to look to motorsport for a career and joined the Benetton Formula 1 team in 1987, initially setting up their electronics departments and then working with their active suspension system. He moved to the Research and Development team before becoming a test team engineer in 1991 and a race engineer in 1992. In 1993 he joined McLaren to develop the active suspension car and run the test team, moving to race engineering in 1995. In 2002 he was promoted to the role of Chief Engineer Race Development. Following a successful stint as Chief Engineer for the MP4-22, Pat now moves his attention to the specification, research, risk management and development of the 2009 challenger the MP4-24.

Mark Williams

Head of Vehicle Engineering, McLaren Racing

Mark Williams, born 7th April 1959, started his career in motor racing whilst still studying for his Mechanical Engineering degree at Imperial College, London, when during his college breaks he worked as a fabricator for his local Formula 1 team, Team Ensign. Once graduated he worked as an engine designer for leading engineering technology supplier Ricardo Plc before moving into his first design role in motor racing for LOLA cars. Following a spell of IndyCar Race engineering he joined McLaren Cars in 1996 to run the McLaren F1’s Super Touring Car engineering programme moving onto the Formula 1 programme at the end of 1997 as a senior test team engineer. After four years on the test team he became Chief Engineer for Vehicle Dynamics. Mark's current role as Head of Vehicle Engineering sees him responsible for the integration of all aspects of vehicle development within both race and test engineering.

Dave Ryan

Race Team Manager, McLaren Racing

Dave Ryan’s interest in motor sport began with him competing in Speedway events in his home country of New Zealand. He moved to England in 1974 and joined McLaren as a mechanic in the same year, working on Jochen Mass’ car. In 1982 Dave, born 12th May 1954, was appointed Chief Mechanic for the team, a role he remained in for six years. In 1987 he took the position of McLaren Factory Manager until in 1990 he became the Team Manager, a role he retains today. He is responsible for the race and test team activities on track and at the McLaren Technology Centre.

Simon Roberts

Operations Director, McLaren Racing

Having studied Mechanical Engineering at Manchester University, Simon Roberts, born 27th September 1962, started his career as a graduate at Perkins Engines, where he trained as a Performance Development Engineer and eventually took on the role of Head of Manufacturing Engineering. He then moved to Rover / BMW as Chief Engineer Diesel Engines with design and programme. He joined the Powertrain Board as Director of Manufacturing Engineering and Strategy and helped merge the BMW and Rover Powertrain organisations. Following a year running gearbox & suspension plants in the UK for BMW he left to build the Pendolino tilting trains at Alstom as Operations Director and Industrial Managing Director. Simon joined McLaren Racing in September 2003 as General Manager and is responsible for coordinating the manufacture and assembly processes, I.T., transport and logistics, quality, vehicle technology laboratories and human resources.  He became Operations Director in 2006.

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