Honda chief mechanic to leave F1

(GMM) Honda's long time chief mechanic Alastair Gibson will leave the Japanese team after next Sunday's Malaysian grand prix.

The 45-year-old South African, who has been with the Brackley based outfit since its inception as BAR in 1999 also as pit stop 'lollipop' holder, said in Melbourne on Sunday morning that he has quit formula one to focus on his love of art.

"If I really want to make a go of it, I knew I was going to have to commit myself," he said.

Gibson is known in the paddock for taking carbon fibre scraps out of the bins at the Honda factory and turning them into sculptures of sea life, mainly fish.

His works have been exhibited around the world, in places including Tokyo, Milan and Jakarta, and he has already been commissioned to produce several pieces in 2008.

"I've enjoyed every day of it but it's time to say goodbye," he said of his F1 adventure.

"My heart will still be at all the circuits but you can't do things for ever."

Gibson entered F1 with Benetton in 1995.

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