New Williams F1 owners won't change team's family feel

The new owner of the Williams Formula 1 team is determined that it retains the close family feel that has characterised the multiple title-winning squad for decades

New Williams F1 owners won't change team's family feel

Following the sale to American private investment firm Dorilton Capital last year, the Grove-based outfit is undergoing a period of investment and restructure as it bids to move up the grid.

This includes a deal to use Mercedes gearboxes and hydraulic-related components from 2022, having previously built everything except its engine in-house.

But despite the exit of Frank Williams and Claire Williams, the new management is adamant that any changes the team makes will not be to the detriment of the tight-knit spirit that was its trademark under the Williams family.

Former VW Motorsport boss Jost Capito, who spearheaded the marque's successful World Rally Championship programme between 2012 and 2016, has joined Williams as CEO while acting team principal Simon Roberts was confirmed in his role on a permanent basis.

Speaking to Autosport about Dorilton's plan for Williams, Roberts is clear that there will be no effort to erase the team's history.

"We've put together an investment plan that was focused at 'what do we need to do, what can we do and what should we do to add performance to the team?'" he said.

"It's 100% focused on adding performance. That does include making sure it's a great place to work.

PLUS: Why a new era for Williams could beckon success

"Given that we [and] Dorilton don't want to shift that lovely feel that exists within Williams - that kind of family spirit and friendliness - we are investing.

"We'll be investing in some of the facilities in the factory. It's just simple stuff, but stuff that makes it better for people to work there.

"We're fixing a lot of things - quite literally from leaks in the roof to doing maintenance on the windtunnel that we haven't been able to do for a while and stuff like that.

"It's quite an extensive programme that's in place now with people back at the factory - both in facilities in the factory and in the IT department - all working really super hard."

Roberts said that the team retained a good relationship with the Williams family, and that he hoped former deputy team principal Claire Williams would come visit some races at some point.

"We accept that things have to move on, but there will always be a place here for Claire to pop back and see us," he explained.

"And hopefully when we're back in Europe sometime next year, she'll be able to do that. But she's had a really tough time.

"Keeping this together for as long as she has, and keeping spirits up as she has, is amazing. We really respect everything she did.

"But, we're Williams still. And that's really important to us.

"A lot [of that is] just trying to be open, trying to be as diverse as we can, employing people with all different backgrounds and nationalities, ethnic backgrounds - that's really super important to us.

"And when we talk about it still, in the various committees that we have on that kind of stuff, we still reference back to what it means because of Frank and because of Claire. So yeah, they're always in our hearts."

shares
comments
When F1's crazy horse joined the Prancing Horse
Previous article

When F1's crazy horse joined the Prancing Horse

Next article

Alpine F1 team announces Davide Brivio as racing director

Alpine F1 team announces Davide Brivio as racing director
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023