Former Ferrari and Williams F1 aerodynamicist Antonia Terzi dies

Sad news from Italy with the announcement of the death of the transalpine engineer Antonia Terzi, who disappeared in a car accident in the United Kingdom.

Born in 1971 in Mirandola in the province of Modena, Terzi studied at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia before making her F1 debut in the most prestigious of teams when she joined Ferrari in 1999.

The Italian learns the ropes under the wing of the great Rory Byrne, aerodynamic chef of the Scuderia Dream Team. Terzi remained in Maranello (Italy) until 2001 and then moved to the UK where she was recruited by Williams.

At that time, the Grove team (Great Britain), with a factory partnership with BMW and a driver duo of Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher, was asserting itself as Ferrari’s main rival.

The Williams FW26 and its famous walrus nose, lined up in early 2004 / © DPPI

After closing in on the title in 2003, Williams created a sensation the next offseason by introducing an FW26 with a walrus nose that turned heads. It is to Terzi that we owe this technical discovery, which is based on the double keel concept that is supposed to optimize the flow of the flows.

As Williams enters the 2004 season with growing ambitions, the British team must quickly face the facts. As ambitious as it is on paper, your walrus-nosed FW26 quickly shows limited potential. Therefore, Terzi must quickly correct the situation. Since the Hungarian Grand Prix, the concept was abandoned and the FW26 adopted a more conventional mouth.

Williams will only sign one victory that season, in Brazil in the last race of the season, the work of Montoya. It is also the last appearance in Williams colors for the Colombian, who leaves for McLaren after signing a contract with Woking (UK) at the end of 2003.

At the end of 2004, Terzi left the Grove stable where she was replaced by the French Loïc Bigois. Next, he collaborates in various university projects, in particular that of the Superbus, a 100% electric carbon fiber means of transport that can reach 250 km / h and accommodate up to 23 passengers with butterfly doors.

The project was carried out in association with the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and in collaboration with the Dutch astronaut and physicist Wubbo Ockels.

In 2020, Terzi is appointed a professor at the Australian National University located in the capital of Canberra.

If the results of the Williams FW26 were much less convincing than expected, Antonia Terzi will still have made her mark on the world of Formula 1.

Vince Fernandez

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