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Fry: Williams F1 team has to develop 'winning mindset'

Incoming Williams Chief Technical Officer Pat Fry say he wants the Formula 1 team to develop a winning mindset as part of its long-term rebuild.

Pat Fry, Williams Chief Technical Officer

Pat Fry, Williams Chief Technical Officer

Williams

Williams owner Dorilton Capital is investing to restore the Grove team to its former glory, with long-time Mercedes man James Vowles brought in to oversee the revamp as its new team principal for 2023.

After identifying the squad's key weaknesses, Vowles brought in former Benetton, McLaren and Ferrari stalwart Fry from Alpine to become the team's CTO.

Fry joined after feeling there was no desire at the Enstone squad to progress beyond the top four, but he was convinced by Vowles and the team's investors that they would be willing to do whatever necessary to complete Williams' journey back to the front.

He says that while Williams still has a long way to go, it must already start to develop a winning mentality.

"The ultimate goal in the end is to be a championship competitor," said Fry, who started at Williams on 1 November.

"In 2-3-4 years time, we need to be getting in the fight, breaking into the top three. It's a tough ask to do when you're building from where we are, but I think it's all possible.

"I guess having worked with Ron [Dennis] and [the mantra that] second is the first of the losers, having worked at Ferrari for five years where you celebrate winning but nothing else, I'm kind of tainted in that way. So, we need to build this space back to be a winning team.

"In a team that's been underfunded, you end up with individual systems in each place and you're building on a company without an overall vision. And the first thing is, what's the overall vision?

"So, it starts with whatever, 'win the championship in five years'. Then below that we've got to put the tools in place. We've got to develop the people, we've got to develop the mindset. I guess it's easy to map out and hard to do."

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

In his role as CTO, a similar position to that which he held at Alpine, Fry will be responsible for strategically planning out Williams' long-term technical requirements in each department.

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"The first thing I'm doing is [answering] what tools and technology we need in five years time," he explained. "You've got to think that far ahead, because a lot of this stuff takes you that long to put in place.

"I've already been having those sort of conversations with the various managers of the departments, so it's good to get their idea of where we are, where we need to get to and then try and pull everything together.

"It's going to be a collective decision of where we actually need to get to and what we actually need."

Williams finished the 2023 season in seventh place after resisting a late challenge from AlphaTauri.

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