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Willis leaves Honda

Wednesday June 21 2006

Technical Director Geoff Willis has left Honda.

Although there has, as yet, been no official confirmation, Geoff Willis has left the team less than 24 hours after Shuhei Nakamoto was promoted.

It remains unclear whether Willis left of his own accord, or if he was dismissed following the team's miserable start to the season.

But the writing was on the wall when Honda announced on Tuesday that Nakamoto had been promoted above Willis to senior technical director. Just days earlier, Willis' surprise absence at the British GP was attributed to the Englishman being given a 'factory-based' role.

Willis joined the then BAR-Honda team in 2000, taking on the role of Technical Director in 2001.

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Willis has left Honda

Technical director Geoff Willis has left the Honda team.

It is understood that within 24 hours of the team's announcement this week that Shuhei Nakamoto would operate in a more senior role, the Briton decided to quit.

The feeling in F1 circles, however, is that Willis' decision was motivated by an apparent loss of faith in his abilities to lead Brackley-based Honda's technical lineup.

It emerged recently that he would be staying put at the English factory in coming months while former Sauber man Jacky Eeckelaert completes his race weekend duties.

And, concurrent with the Nakamoto confirmation on Tuesday, Honda said in a statement: "Discussions are currently taking place with (Willis) regarding his future role with the team."

A spokeswoman would not confirm suggestions that Willis, 47, had left Honda, but she also did not offer a denial.

Source GMM
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