Williams has made a step forward in the way it operates this season thanks to a “different vibe” that has been instilled by its new management team, according to head of vehicle performance Dave Robson.
The F1 team was sold by its originating family Williams in the middle of last year, with Dorilton Capital taking over and initially installing Simon Roberts as acting team principal in place of Claire Williams.
Former VW world rally boss Jost Capito and VW's former motorsport head FX Demaison were both subsequently hired, with Roberts departing earlier this month.
Asked how the team has changed under Capito, Robson said: “Things are definitely a little bit different. He’s injected a slightly different way of thinking and I guess he’s just partway through the process of that piece of work.
“With FX coming in that’s actually really good for us because since we lost Paddy [Lowe] we haven’t had that point of contact and it does make making decisions easier because there is one person with authority and responsibility.
“In the circumstances, we did a decent job over the last few years doing it amongst a few of us but the problem is you end up rarely fully agreeing because the pace of the sport means we don’t have time to do all the R&D we’d like to.
“The nature of the sport is you have to take decisions with imperfect information, that’s a lot of the skill that we are engaged in, and it’s far easier when that comes under the responsibility of one person."
Williams will benefit from different discipline experience
Capito and Demaison both bring experience from outside of F1, something that in the past was rarely done but has become an increasingly popular approach in recent years.
Asked if the lessons learned in other categories were beneficial, Robson added: “We’ll see how FX takes that forward, but there’s definitely a little bit of a change in outlook, they bring experience from different forms of motorsport.
“It’s quite interesting to hear how that relates to what we’re doing. They’re slightly different disciplines, technically, the constraints are quite different. The regulations, the number of tyres you get, is quite different.
“Otherwise, their whole philosophy, the way the whole car performance comes together, particularly in Jost’s case, the way he brings the whole team together, it’s different.
“[It’s] not really specific to the running they’ve done necessarily, but clearly that’s where he’s plied his trade recently and has been successful, so it’s just a slightly different vibe.”
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