Nationality: British (born in South Africa)
Born: 2 June 1963
Job description: Head of Aerodynamics
2017 - Head of Aerodynamics, Williams
2013 - 2017 - Chief Aerodynamicist, Ferrari
2008 -2013 - Head of Aerodynamics, Renault / Lotus F1 Team
2000-2007 - Lead Aerodynamicist, Sauber
1999 - 2000 - Head of Aerodynamics, Swift Engineering
1998 - Graduation from Imperial College, University of London with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering
Dirk was born in South Africa and used to attend all the South African Grands Prix as a young child. At the age of fifteen, he moved to the U.K. and went to school before his love of motor racing drove him to enrol at London’s Imperial College, a world-leader in motorsport aerodynamics known for its ground effect work with Lotus in the Donald Campbell wind tunnel.
During his time at University, Dirk was employed as a research assistant in charge of the new Honda wind tunnel, which was used by teams such as Lotus, Ligier and Onyx Grand Prix. Here, Dirk began building a network of F1 contacts before political changes in South Africa drew him back home where he worked in aerospace.
It was during this time that Dirk was approached by Swift Engineering to join their IndyCar programme in the U.S. Dirk headed their aerodynamics department, overseeing the wind tunnel and CFD work.
When Swift decided to withdraw from motorsport, Dirk moved back to Europe and joined Sauber to work on their wind tunnel project. He then moved to Renault and following the team’s transition to Lotus, moved to Ferrari before joining Williams in 2017.