Williams F1 no longer family business after "critical changes"

Williams Formula 1 team principal Jost Capito believes the historic outfit has now grown from a family business into "a well-structured engineering company" after making "critical changes".

Williams FW44 detail

In August 2020 the Williams family sold its majority stake to the US investment firm Dorilton Capital following years of decline, finishing at the bottom of the constructors' championship in three consecutive seasons from 2018 to 2020.

The new owners brought in former Volkswagen Motorsport chief Jost Capito in February 2021 to head a reorganised team, who made several key hires, including former VW colleagues FX Demaison as technical director and Sven Smeets as sporting director.

When asked by Autosport to reflect on his first year in charge, Capito said he made "critical changes" to move the team on from its family business origins to a "well-structured engineering company".

"First of all, you have a high respect if you come into Williams," Capito said.

"This is a team with a huge heritage with huge success in the past."

"We did not a lot of personal changes, we did some critical changes. And I think what helped a lot is to improve the spirit and to give the pride back to the team.

"We don't accept any more to be last, we want to move up the grid, and we work hard to do that, and we need the spirit and we need to enjoy that journey.

"I think that was the main thing and then fighting for points and getting in the position that we got some points and then like the icing on the cake, the podium in Spa, boosted not just the team on the race track but boosted the whole company.

Williams FW44

Williams FW44

Photo by: Williams

"We also developed processes, we developed different structures. We improved the communication within the company.

"We developed our values for the company and the behaviours we want to have in the company.

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"I think we came from very much a family business to a well-structured engineering company."

Capito admitted the team's slump is not something that can be fixed on the short-term. Now that the team finally has more resources to compete, F1's budget cap will limit the investments the new owners can make.

"To bring the team back to where we want to be, from where we have been in 2020, is a long way. It's not something you can fix and undo in one year, so there's more to do than has been done," Capito added.

"I think compared to the top teams we still were lacking that we didn't have investment over the last years. And from last year, we were limited by the cost cap as well.

"But everybody started from scratch with a new car and it's very difficult to say where everybody starts out of the box. So for us progress will be how we can improve compared to the competition."

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