New CEO Jost Capito suggests a ‘Williams 2.0’ can assume a ‘leading role’ in F1 landscape, if not for its performance then for its work in other areas.
The team have spent past seasons languishing towards the back of the grid, but Capito believes that a new Williams – a ‘Williams 2.0’, as he calls it – can have a greater impact on F1. He suggests this could be achieved through either the pursuit of improved results, or further work for social change.
Along with other teams, Williams worked on a ‘We Race As One’ campaign in 2020, but Capito says the team’s new ownership provides it the opportunity to continue – and, in fact, expand upon – this effort. “I discussed [this] with the Williams owners and said that my aim is not just to get better results,” Capito told the Alt Schule podcast.
“I believe that motorsport also has a social role to play in society.” Capito says that growing Williams’ role in this effort is as much a priority as improving results for the British team. “I think Williams is predestined for it, because Williams is history,” the 62-year-old German began.
“And we will clearly keep our history, but there has to be a Williams 2.0 that can take on a leading role in Formula 1 – if not in terms of performance at the moment, then definitely in terms of social thinking. This is just as important to me in the new job as improving the team results,” summed up Capito.
In terms of performance, Capito reckons it can’t be more worse for Williams going forward. “With the new beginning, also with the new owners, you now have the opportunity to restructure and streamline again,” he said. “This is important now, because less than zero points are possible not! It can only be better.
“No matter what changes you make: it always goes down first. And then it has to go up. That means now for this year that no miracles are to be expected, because you can only change very little on the car,” summed up Capito, while adding that his work will entail to look after the Williams F1 team on the whole, rather than solely on-site work.
Meanwhile, from a competitive standpoint, Capito encourages F1 to continue to grow the calendar as it helps to make the sport more financially viable. He acknowledges issues associated with this, though, and says solutions will have to be found in order to ensure the sustainability of the sport.
“The more the cars drive, the more the value of Formula 1,” said Capito. “You have to finance the races, which are expensive, and have the appropriate sponsors. A sport is only sustainable if the team can earn more money than it needs for racing and development. Only then is sport healthy, and we are not there at the moment, you have to work on it.
“More races help to create more opportunities for marketing and thus also for making money. You can also reach more fans because you are in even more countries,” Capito said. “And you have to see how you want to organize the race weekends, whether they should be shorter or longer. I think there is still a lot to do.”
Here’s the podcast in German: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbHRlLXNjaHVsZS5wb2RpZ2VlLmlvL2ZlZWQvbXAz/episode/OWJmY2EyZTY2NGVmNTEyYWE1MWYyODBjYTdjNjg3Yjg?hl=en-IN&ved=2ahUKEwjhusSol6XuAhWDyDgGHXgeCCsQieUEegQIBBAF&ep=6
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