The death of aerodynamicist at Williams F1 Terzi

Terzi, who was born in Italy, is best known in Formula 1 circles because he was the inspiration for the famous ‘Walrus nose’ featured in a Williams FW26 in 2004.

Having studied aerodynamics in Italy and the UK, Terzi’s F1 career began at Ferrari, working under Rory Byrne until 2001.

After making a good impression, she moved on to Williams to become the team’s chief aerodynamics expert, and played a key role in propelling the team to race wins during the engine partnership with German manufacturer BMW.

One of the most famous things that helped the team cause a stir before the 2004 season was the unveiling of the FW26 with its unique ‘walrus nose’ concept.

The idea was for Williams to shorten the nose as much as possible in an effort to increase downforce and reduce drag – with the twin ‘canine’ turrets sloping downward to act as an attachment to the front wing.

While Williams was convinced of the benefits of the design, the FW26 proved difficult to set up, and by the time of the Hungarian Grand Prix the team switched to a more traditional nose configuration.

Mark Jane, BMW Williams FW26

Photography: Steve Etherington / motorsports pictures

Williams finished the season in better shape, with Juan Pablo Montoya famously taking pole position at the Italian Grand Prix and winning the final race of the campaign in Brazil.

After a difficult season in which the Ferrari F2004 rival proved his dominance, Terzi left the Grove-based team and was replaced by Loic Bigois.

She moved away from Formula 1 and took up a role at Bentley as Head of Aerodynamics.

Recently, she has dedicated times to academic projects. Terzi has been appointed as Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology, the oldest and largest public technical university in the Netherlands. I worked in the College of Aeronautical Engineering.

One of its ongoing projects there has been the Superbus, an all-electric vehicle made of composite materials that features “gull wing” doors and can carry up to 23 passengers.

She was appointed last year as a full professor at the Australian National University in Canberra, where she was planning to relocate once Covid travel restrictions were eased.

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