After a few turbulent seasons, the Williams family sold the team last year to US investment firm Dorilton Capital.
With a new investment in place, the new Williams owners have promoted Simon Roberts to team manager, with former Volkswagen Motorsport chief Jost Capito entering as CEO.
Capito called on François-Xavier Demaison, with whom he worked at Volkswagen on the brand’s successful WRC and Pikes Peak programs, to fill the role of technical director left vacant since Paddy Lowe’s departure for a season. 2019 disastrous.
According to Russell, the arrival of Capito and Demaison is a key moment in the reversal of Williams’ fortunes, with the team now able to focus on performance rather than just surviving.
“I think this is incredibly positive news for Williams in the years to come with the arrival of [Jost] and I really believe we have a strong boss at the helm who will be able to structure a proper technical team around us to help ultimately improve the performance of the car, ”said Russell.
“Obviously we haven’t had a CTO during my entire reign at Williams, which is crazy if you think about it.
“The priority, I guess, during my time at Williams until Dorilton took over, was to keep the team afloat, to keep the people’s jobs alive, to keep the team alive, rather. than trying to get the car going as fast as possible.
George Russell, Williams FW43B
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“The goal was just to keep the team in Formula 1, which was obviously a good thing to do, but now we can go back to focusing fully on performance. It’s really exciting for everyone at Williams with Jost at the helm. “
Russell admits his awkward stint at Williams was made even more “difficult” without a clear technical director at the helm.
But the Briton, who qualified in Q2 and finished 14th in the Bahraini Grand Prix, is confident that Demaison will “bring it all together” in preparation for F1’s radical overhaul in 2022, which is Williams’ biggest opportunity to win. finally get on the grid.
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“I think it’s extremely important to have a technical director in place,” explained Russell.
“Formula 1 is a huge puzzle. You have to put these pieces together, of which a technical director is the one who orchestrates this.
“It was very difficult, and a lot of people had to do jobs that they probably weren’t necessarily registered for because no one was necessarily leading them.
“Now we have a CEO, now we have a CTO. These guys can now focus on their main focus, whether it is aerodynamics, whether it is mechanical, whether it is electronics, whatever. maybe, with our new CTO orchestrating and bringing them together. “