Mark Gillan, the Chief Operations Engineer at Williams F1, is leaving the team after just one season. Gillan is a topline academic in addition to being a racing engineer and has popped in and out of F1 throughout his career. He started out as a lecturer in Aeronautical Department at Queen’s University in Belfast and then in 1998 was lured to work at McLaren. He later moved to Jaguar Racing where he was Head of Vehicle Performance but left the team in 2005 to take up a Professorship at the University of Surrey, taking the Sir George Edwards Chair in Aerospace Engineering and Director of Surrey’s Advanced Vehicle Analysis Group (SAVAG). He was then recruited by Toyota to be its head of aerodynamics, but later set up his own consultancy business, while returning to the University of Surrey as Professor of Vehicle Engineering. He was lured to Willliams a year ago in September, but wants to spend more time at home. It remains to be seen what the team will do to replace him, but there is little doubt that his departure is a loss.