Parr: Innovation will revive Williams

Williams chairman Adam Parr is confident that 'intelligence and imagination', rather than extra finance, can get his team back to the front in Formula 1 - and is optimistic that the radical FW33 will be a big step in that direction

Parr: Innovation will revive Williams

Having not won a race since 2004 and with its last championship victory now 13 seasons ago, Williams is pinning its 2011 hopes on a bold design with unique rear-end packaging.

The team has seen its sponsorship revenues decrease in recent seasons, but Parr insists that a lack of money will not automatically confine Williams to the midfield.

"You have to ask questions every year about how you move forwards," he told AUTOSPORT. "Our goal is not to be a midfield team.

"The reason that Red Bull [and Brawn] won is that they did the best job, the smartest job in any given season so it's not about money. They had to beat people with the same or more money.

"So even if you say, 'well the Brawn was funded by Honda money', which it was, and even if it is true that Red Bull has all the money of Red Bull behind it, the fact is that they didn't have more money than the teams they beat.

"It isn't just down to money, it's down to intelligence and team work and imagination and creative reading of the rules and all those important things that make F1 what it is.

"And I think it would be completely wrong for us to say that we are midfield because we don't have enough money. Nobody in this team believes that.

"The dynamics within all teams mean that you go through good phases and bad phases and I think we are climbing back up the grid. What I don't know is how smart and brave everyone else has been and we won't know until Australia.

"We have got 470 fantastic people in our team, we have got great facilities and so we should be able to build a competitive car and I very much hope that the FW33 is one of those."

Parr said that he had no qualms about supporting technical director Sam Michael's decision to take a radical approach to the FW33, which he feels is already being vindicated by testing results.

"I'm absolutely thrilled that it has paid off in terms of reliability and performance," said Parr.

"We did take some very ballsy decisions and I was absolutely supportive of Sam through that process to be as brave as he wanted to be.

"And in terms of how that is going to result on the track all I can say is that the tests we have done so far are encouraging but it's just too early to say."

Michael added that he felt the current season was the ideal time to try design innovations.

"When we started having standard diffusers and all these restrictions, I thought this is getting really dull. We're really dumbing down F1," he said.

"But it's doing the opposite because ... by not being able to work on the diffuser you then say 'right, here's something [else] that might give you two tenths', whether it's the gearbox or the exhaust or whatever. But you have to differentiate yourself because if you don't you're going to be at the back.

"So you all have nice simple cars but anyone that finds two tenths is suddenly going to be at the front because the gaps are so close. So I think it is having the opposite effect [to dumbing down], which I think is very good for F1.

"These are the most standardised regulations that F1 has ever had and the cars look completely different. Look at the different designs that everybody has got. I didn't predict it would be like that."

shares
comments
Brawn: Cooling hampering Mercedes
Previous article

Brawn: Cooling hampering Mercedes

Next article

No issues with wing, Williams insists

No issues with wing, Williams insists
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022