Roberts wants full-time Williams team principal role

FIA Pool

Roberts wants full-time Williams team principal role

Formula 1

Roberts wants full-time Williams team principal role


Williams acting team principal Simon Roberts wants the role on a full-time basis, but has yet to speak to the team’s new owners about their plans.

Roberts was put in charge of the day-to-day running of Williams by Dorilton Capital following the Williams family’s decision to step away from the sport, with Claire Williams departing as deputy team principal. Mugello was Roberts’ first race in his temporary position, and he said there have been no discussions about the long-term future, but it is a job he’d like to take on.

“It’s something we haven’t really focused on, to be honest,” Roberts said. “The whole sale process happened much faster than any of us expected and then Claire made her decision, which was a shock to all of us. So, the most important thing was to retain continuity.

“I’m really, really pleased to be asked to step up. I really enjoy it and hopefully I can continue to do it for longer, but we haven’t even discussed it. It’s not the top of my list, and it’s not the top of theirs. There’s plenty of work to be done, and we’re all focused on that and focused on moving the team forwards.”

Roberts suggests it may be a little longer until Dorilton settles on a final management structure as the new ownership outlines how and where it wants to invest.

“It’s pretty busy, pretty hectic obviously,” he said. “It’s a big step up, I’m very proud and honored to be asked to do it, but there’s a lot to do in the factory. We’re trying to make sure we keep the management team stable with the new owners, so that’s really important for them and the rest of the team. So, me stepping up makes us able to do that.

“We’re now working with the new owners pretty much every day, looking at what we need to do to improve; what the long-term program is and how do we find some performance for the whole team over a long period of time. There’s no quick fix here. We’re in it for the long haul, and so are Dorilton.

“They’re just trying to understand everything they can about the business. They’re super-smart and really nice and easy people to work with, so it’s great having them around. They just come and get involved in everything they can.

“They obviously were in Mugello, which was great for them and we’re just in that budget setting, looking at investment plans, trying to figure out effectively what’s the first thing to do. We don’t want to make mistakes but everything we do is focused on improving our performance in the long term.”