Capito: Changes at Williams key to recent upswing in F1 form

Williams Formula 1 boss Jost Capito believes the team’s recent improvement in form has not been “sudden”, but down to continued improvements and recent organisational changes.

Capito: Changes at Williams key to recent upswing in F1 form

After scoring just one point across the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Williams has recently enjoyed a resurgence in form, recording a top-10 finish in four of the last five races.

George Russell scored the team’s first podium since Azerbaijan 2017 in the rain-shortened Belgian Grand Prix, and qualified third in Sochi last weekend before finishing the race 10th.

Former Volkswagen motorsport chief Capito joined Williams as its new CEO over the winter before taking over the day-to-day running of the F1 operations following the exit of team principal Simon Roberts in June.

In his role, Capito has overseen a number of structural changes at Williams, changing the way different parts of the F1 team interact and work with each other.

Speaking about Williams’ recent upswing in form over the Sochi weekend, Capito said that he “wouldn’t say it was sudden”, but down to the changes that have been made across the F1 team.

“It’s a continuous improvement of how to work,” Capito said.

“We changed our organisation, we changed communications, we changed responsibilities, and we’re working much more as a team.

“We also changed the strategy, how we approach the race event. We got a bit more proactive and aggressive, and not just defensive. I think we put more pride in the operation, said we could do things different.

George Russell, Williams FW43B

George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“If you have the ninth-fastest car, you can try things differently, and not be always on the back foot and try to conserve what you have, try something different that others might not be able to try because they are up front, and for them it would be risky.

“I think a couple of times, we’ve taken the risk, with the tyre choice for the weather, and it worked out.

“I think it shows that the team works better as an overall team on communication. I’m surprised how much that can make the car faster without actually improving the car.”

Williams’ recent haul of points has put it in control of the fight for eighth place in the constructors’ championship. The team sits 16 points clear of Alfa Romeo in the standings with seven races remaining this year.

Read Also:

Russell felt that the team’s points in the Hungarian Grand Prix - its first race in the points since Germany 2019 - marked a breakthrough moment for the squad.

“Having scored those points in Hungary, there was less pressure on everybody's shoulders, and we could go out there and enjoy it,” Russell said.

“Obviously we had a really great result in Spa as well, and I think that gave the whole team another boost, to say, 'We can do this when everybody excels and does a good job’.

“I think it proves when every single team member comes together and does their part to the best of their abilities, good things are possible. So I’m definitely happy.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why Bottas faced impossible task to come through field in Sochi
Previous article

Why Bottas faced impossible task to come through field in Sochi

Next article

Alonso: Alpine “ultra competitive” in best F1 race of year

Alonso: Alpine “ultra competitive” in best F1 race of year
Load comments
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021