The Williams Formula 1 squad’s 2013 restructuring has given it long-term stability, according to deputy team principal Claire Williams.
While the team endured a miserable season on-track last year, scoring only five points, it made major changes to its organization. As well as Williams taking on her new role, Pat Symonds arrived as technical chief, Felipe Massa replaced Pastor Maldonado in the driver line-up and Mercedes came in as engine supplier in a deal believed to be for seven years.
Williams said that her team’s period of organizational turbulence was now over.
“Everything that we have done is all about securing the long-term future of Williams, not just the future of it but working toward its future success,” she said. “Everything we have done is thought very strategically through to make sure it is sustainable and will take Williams into the future. Rather than taking rash decision or decisions that are [bandages], it’s a very strategic approach. The Mercedes deal is a long-term arrangement.
“We have stability with our driver lineup, which we are excited about. And the senior management team at board level is also stable and that will remain stable into the longer term as well. The engineering side, led by Pat, is all about long-term stability and succession planning. We had some shocking results, but people still kept fighting. We have done so much work to change how we operate to make sure that we ensure the future of the team.”
She said the team’s response to its 2013 form had shown its character.
“We are so lucky that in times of adversity we stay together and keep fighting,” said Williams (LEFT). “Now there is this sense of momentum that there is change happening and everyone is pushing that bit harder. The biggest thing I have learned is about the mindset of this team and how impressive people at Williams are in their tenacity.
Earlier this month Williams announced that it had also recruited Jakob Andreasen, Craig Wilson and Rod Nelson – formerly of Force India, Mercedes and Lotus, respectively –to senior technical positions.
Williams added that the team was in “good shape” financially, despite the split with Maldonado and his backer PDVSA.
“We wouldn’t have done what we have done with PDVSA if we weren’t happy with our budget,” she said.