Williams had to make processes fit for modern era Formula 1

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams says the Formula 1 team had to overhaul its planning processes in order to bring it "into the modern era" of grand prix racing

Williams had to make processes fit for modern era Formula 1

The team finished last in the constructors' championship for a second year in a row in 2019 and recorded a single point, while the campaign was also the worst in Williams's history in terms of its deficit to the front of the field.

After Williams's FW42 arrived late to testing, and chief technical officer Paddy Lowe left the team, Williams conducted a review that resulted in widespread changes including an improved process to track the design and manufacturing of its parts.

"One of the areas that wasn't as strong as it should have been was our planning function and end-to-end planning," said Williams.

"So that is making sure that we had the process for a part in aero, going through to the design office then going into production and manufacturing - that wasn't as strong as it should have been.

"We have now resolved that.

"We have just put into the business back in June this year a fully formed planning function that is solely dedicated to that end-to-end planning of racecar design through to racecar production.

"Each area has a business manager in that planning function that is responsible for the design office or in the windtunnel for ATF, or whatever it may be, so that that person is responsible for those people in aero hitting their deadlines.

"But that planning function is responsible for so much more.

"They need to understand the capacity in every area as well and need to understand how long it takes to make that one small part of the car.

"There's a huge amount of data capture that's had to go on as well because you can imagine a team like ours has been around for a long time and may have been doing processes in quite a loose way - post-it notes going around, for example - and we need to get out of that and have proper systems in place."

Williams said implementing the new process had been the "the biggest learning" for the outfit, and that its previous practices were the legacy of "a team that has grown up over four decades".

"We've had a lot of people stay within the business for a long time but if you lose one of those key heads that has got all the information in their heads, you think you might capture it or before they leave but something's going to fall, and we can't we can't operate like that," she continued.

"We have to bring Williams into the modern era of F1 racing.

"I'm not saying that it was so prehistoric and it wasn't that, I don't want to give that impression, because it wasn't.

"We needed to just bring it even further forward."

shares
comments
F1 using skin sensors to measure what excites fans durings GPs

Previous article

F1 using skin sensors to measure what excites fans durings GPs

Next article

McLaren lures Williams F1 partner Unilever away for 2020 season

McLaren lures Williams F1 partner Unilever away for 2020 season
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Williams
Author Jack Cozens
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021