Williams confident of technical stability ahead of start of 2012 F1 season

Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan is confident that the team has now achieved technical stability after the upheaval of the past year

Williams confident of technical stability ahead of start of 2012 F1 season

Gillan, who was recruited along with chief designer Mike Coughlan and head of aerodynamics Jason Somerville after former technical director Sam Michael tendered his resignation last year, believes that Williams now has the long-term stability to fight its way back up the grid with the new FW34, which was unveiled at Jerez this morning.

"The key word is stability," Gillan told AUTOSPORT. "You must have good people, but you also need that stability. We have a reasonably new technical management team and that will ensure stability for a period of time.

"We have a huge wealth of experience with people who have been at Williams for a long time and we have bolstered that with key technical recruits in certain areas. That's something that has continued over the last year.

"It's a process that never stops, but definitely the improvement is there."

Gillan paid tribute to the strong design leadership that Coughlan had to bring to the team.

This is reflected both in the recent changes to the team and the new FW34.

"Firstly, we had to deal with the situation of the team and he is a clear, no-nonsense engineer who gives a very clear direction of where he wants to take the team technically," said Gillan. "That is very welcome from my side.

"And he has given very clear direction in areas of the car to make certain technical innovations.

"Everybody knows where we want to go, there are clear metrics in place to judge how well we are getting there.

"The proof of the pudding is the end of the season in terms of points. We have a clear design brief, a technical direction and a much better process in place."

Gillan is also hopeful that Williams will be able to improve on its development rate compared to last season.

During last year's review of the team, it was decided that too many parts were being tried and a new approach has been implemented aimed at making the factory more effective at serving the race team by producing components that deliver a definite advantage.

"I am very happy about the way that things are progressing there," said Gillan. "We have a very achievable, sensible plan in terms of integration of new components and also the test process before we hit the track in terms of sign-off so that when we get the components they are fit for purpose and ready to go on the car.

"That's a change of operation compared to last year. We need to prove it out that it works in the heat of battle at the track but it's looking very positive."

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