Mike Coughlan says he is determined to earn his place back in Formula 1 after securing a deal to return to the sport with Williams.
The Briton was dismissed by the McLaren team in 2007 because of his involvement in that year's spy controversy, and he was banned from the sport for two years because of it. He is now returning to Formula 1 as Williams' chief engineer, and Coughlan insisted his involvement in the spy affair was a life-changing experience.
"It was life-changing because it made me reflect upon myself and my actions," said Coughlan. "Leaving a team and a sport that I love – and then seeing the consequences of my actions on the team and its fans – was devastating. All I can do now is work hard and try to earn my place back in Formula 1. This is what I am determined to do with Williams."
Coughlan said he fully accepted his ban from the sport, admitting he regretted all he had done.
"I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone who was affected by my conduct and in particular the people at McLaren and Ferrari and the fans of those teams," he said. "I sincerely regret my actions and I fully accepted the penalty given to me by the FIA. I can only hope that I can earn back everyone's respect."
As for his goals at Williams, the Briton said he is aiming to help the team return to winning ways as soon as possible.
"Personally, I am aiming to integrate myself back into Formula 1 and prove myself. With regards to the team, I think we all have one goal – to win races.
"I think I can say that even though I have only just finished my first day here! But obviously I'm hoping to help bring an upturn in the team's results and put it back to where it deserves to be."