Williams F1 team principal, Claire Williams has pinpointed the source of the Grove-based team’s slump. As it turns out, a change in the team structure that she was directly responsible for, was the culprit behind the 2019 crisis.
According to her, Williams’ “four good seasons”, including third place in 2014 and 2015 was the trigger. Now, it seems that she has regretted her decision ever since.
“In order to preserve our results and even make progress, we changed something in the internal structure and it turned out to be a mistake,” she revealed to Auto Hebdo. “It was my initiative and I admit my guilt.”
Williams continued: “Believe me, we are not hiding our heads in the sand. We know where we are and what you need in order to win. But it’s a long process.”
“We are trying to independently produce as many parts as possible, and we have 620 people working for us, which is a lot for the structure we have,” Claire said.
“To create the Williams of the future while preserving our culture is the task we are facing now.”
One key structural change was sending Paddy Lowe on leave. This was inspite of the fact that he had been lured away from Mercedes to lead Williams back to where they belong.
“I don’t want to answer that question at the moment,” Williams said. “It’s very difficult for me to talk about Paddy and his role in this.”
While remaining mum on Lowe, she admitted that other engineers managed to fill in the void. The Williams F1 boss added: “I trust them completely and believe that we are moving in the right direction.
“Patrick Head has returned to us as a consultant and to support the engineers in such a difficult period.
“He has so much experience and has the sort of character that they really listen to him. His advice will be very valuable,”.
According to her, the subsidiary Williams Advanced Engineering no longer generates income for the team.
As a result the Williams F1 team are open to Liberty Media’s machinations for better distribution of revenue and lowered costs, courtesy a budget cap.
“Everything that is now being discussed is moving in the direction that we need,” the Williams F1 team boss said. “We’ve been racing for 42 years because it is our passion,”.
“Yes, we are at the very back of the grid now, but I know that returning to the positions we deserve is only a matter of time. I would not be talking to you now if I wasn’t sure of that.”