Although it might seem like the Formula One field is lacking in Greek presence, Nicolas Tombazis has been able to distinguish himself among his peers to represent his country on the FIA Board of Directors as Head of Single Seater Technical matters.
Born in Athens on 22 April 1968, Tombazis is the son of well-known architect Alexandros Tombazis, who was in charge of over 800 projects both in Greece and overseas, many of which have received awards for their innovation in artistic design.
With the creator’s blood flowing through his veins, it was only natural for Nicolas to follow suit, yet the motor sport industry seemed to be his main interest.
As he graduated with a degree in engineering from the Trinity College of Cambridge in 1989 and a PhD in aerodynamics from London’s Imperial College three years later, his talents didn’t go unnoticed from the highly coveted Formula One industry, with the Benetton team offering him a position as an aerodynamicist.
The Greek’s skills allowed him to climb the ranks swiftly and in just two years he became head of the entire aerodynamics department at the team.
He didn’t stay at Benetton for too long however, as the Scuderia Ferrari soon came knocking on his door in order to acquire the talents of the young Greek three years later, and he left to occupy the same position.
The chance to work at Ferrari’s Formula One team allowed Tombazis to effectively establish himself as a powerful figure in the world of motor sports and become known as someone who possesses deep knowledge in regards to the many different functionalities of the highly complex racing cars.
His collaboration with the Italian team ended in 2003 however, with Tombazis returning to Greece to fulfil his army duties.
The desire to return to England however saw the designer join Ferrari’s main rivals McLaren in 2004, where he was eventually given the Head of Planning position.
Yet Ferrari found themselves lacking without his services and in 2004 gave him a reason to go back to the Maranello, appointing him as their chief aerodynamicist, a position he stayed in for over eight years.
In 2014, the Scuderia decided it was time for some drastic changes and Nicolas Tombazis found himself as part of the many that saw the door by the executives of the popular brand, including Pat Fry and Stefano Domenicali.
But a man of Tombazis’ rich talents couldn’t stay away from the grids for too long, with the new Manor F1 team placing him in the all too familiar chief aerodynamicist position, where he excelled.
Yet the team’s presence in the Formula One was not meant to last, as after just a single season they withdrew, and Tombazis found himself out of work. That didn’t last long, however, as FIA made the announcement that he would be joining them as Head of Single Seater Technical matters on 6 March 2018. Taking into consideration not just his rich knowledge for the cars, but also his many years of experience within the industry, the job seemed made for Tombazis.
Though he might not be in the glamorous limelight of Formula One, he holds one of the most important positions of the industry that carries with it a lot of responsibility.
He is the perfect example of how hard work and dedication, combined with passion, can lead to results.