PEOPLE: NIGEL COWPERTHWAITE

Name: Nigel Cowperthwaite
Nationality: Great Britain

Cowperthwaite studied at Cranfield Institute and then stayed on to work in the Cranfield wind tunnel, where he encountered Formula 1 teams using the facility. He began working with Team Lotus but in 1988 was recruited by Minardi and helped Aldo Costa to produce the Minardi M189 which scored some impressive results using Pirelli tires during the 1989 season. This attracted the attention of Dallara and in 1990 Cowperthwaite was hired to design the 1991 car for Giuseppe Lucchini's Scuderia Italia. Powered by a Judd V10 engine, the car was another success with JJ Lehto and Emanuele Pirro picking up points and the team finishing eighth in the Constructors' title.

Lucchini next concluded a deal to run a Dallara-Ferrari combination in 1992 and Lehto was joined by Pierluigi Martini. The Cowperthwaite-designed Dallara F192s scored two six places - both for Martini - but the relationship between the team and the car builder broke down and Scuderia Italia concluded a disastrous deal for 1993 with Lola. Cowperthwaite left Dallara in the middle of 1992 but remained in Italy, doing a variety of non-racing jobs - until the middle of 1998 when he was rehired by Minardi to work with technical director Gustav Brunner. He stayed at Minardi until the start of 2001 when he departed after a serious disagreement with Brunner over the design of the car that would become the PS01. He now works as a consultant engineer.

Print