David J. Wass (born 15 April 1947) is one of the co-founders of the Arrows team, and designed a great many of their cars in the 1970's and 1980's. When he was a teenager, Wass started with famous team BRM in the early 1960s at Bourne in Lincolnshire.
He learned the design trade from famous F1 designers Tony Rudd, Len Terry and Tony Southgate - who followed one another at BRM - and studied mechanical engineering in his spare time, gaining the necessary certificates. He stayed with the team until it was liquidated in 1974. Along with Southgate, he designed the team's first cars, including the FA1, the A1 and the A2. Southgate stayed with the team until 1980 and then Wass was left in charge of Arrows design. On his own, Wass produced a string of straightforward but underfunded cars which did moderately well.
After the Arrows A9 proved a disaster in 1986, Wass left the Arrows team and moved to the Benetton team, concentrating on gearbox design, a specialization he particularly enjoyed, working with Rory Byrne, Pat Symonds and Paul Crooks.
This team was broken up when boss Flavio Briatore decided to hire John Barnard. Wass moved to Cosworth for a few months and then joined Byrne and Symmonds working on the Reynard F1 project. When this was called off in the summer of 1991, they all returned to Benetton and Wass was put in charge of transmission design.
|1986-1990's||Benetton Formula|| Gearbox Designer|