Q&A with Super Aguris Gerry Hughes 30 Jul 2007
With four points already in the bag, Super Aguris 2007 season looks to be going from strength to strength. Gerry Hughes, head of research and development, discusses the Japanese teams great start to the year and explains how his department is assisting Anthony Davidson and Takuma Sato get even more from the SA07
Q: Gerry, your role in 2007 is very different to when you were race engineer for Car 22 last year. Why the change?
Gerry Hughes: Having completed over 100 Grand Prix events, I felt that I needed a change after eight seasons of race engineering. As the team evolved, the opportunity to create an all new R&D department arose. In addition, I wanted to further myself as an engineer and the small R&D department that we have here at the Leafield Technical Centre, where our factory is based, allows me to do just that.
Q: What are your main responsibilities as head of research and development?
GH: Ultimately, I am in charge of a number of personnel, ranging from Technicians through to Senior Analysis Engineers. We have formed a great group of engineers here and whilst my role is to set targets, justify resource and communicate with other key departments, the group as a whole works very effectively by itself.
Q: What is your department currently working on?
GH: Basically anything that makes the car go faster. We are a very small group compared to other more established Formula One teams and as such we have limited resources. Developing the 2007 chassis is a challenge and one that both myself and the group relish.
Q: What can you tell us about the future plans of the Super Aguri team?
GH: Well certainly I am looking forward to the 2008 season and beyond. The team is in its infancy, but I think that the way that the team has equipped itself over the past one and a half seasons is proof that we have the ability to perform alongside teams much bigger than ourselves.
Q: And you must be happy to have four championship points in the bag for this season so far. What developments can we expect for the rest of the year, starting with the Hungarian Grand Prix?
GH: Well, as one can imagine the first point for the team claimed by Takuma in Barcelona was very special and I was unfortunately not present at the chaotic Canadian Grand Prix to see him claim another three. Having points on the board makes one hungry for more and when you come away from a race weekend with nothing to show for your efforts, which can become disheartening.
This season has seen fierce competition throughout the grid, so I suppose that we should be reasonably happy about our performance in 2007, in just our second season.
With regard to future developments, we are working on a number of projects in different areas of the car; some of these ideas are more innovative than others. You will just have to wait until they hit the track.