F1: Beyond the Grid welcomed Williams CEO Jost Capito in their latest episode, where they talked about the team, takeover, Jenson Button hiring and more.
Like most, the new F1 Beyond The Grid podcast episode began with a monological introduction from host Tom Clarkson, who, on this occasion, spoke not about Capito himself, but rather about the positive direction in which Williams is heading.
Clarkson explained that a slew of advisable hiring decisions since Dorilton Capital’s acquisition of the team have secured a bright future, notably with the appointment of Capito as CEO – one decision which the German described as a “master stroke.”
Once dialogue between the two commenced, Capito explained that Williams’ prestige played a part in his decision to join, saying he wouldn’t have considered any other team given his initial intent to retire when they contacted him at the end of F1 2020.
Capito argued that the F1 team’s tenth-place finish in the constructors’ championship in every year since 2018 is unrepresentative of their potential, which was limited as a result of financial restraints.
After this, Capito spoke on the role of Chairman Matthew Savage of Dorilton Capital in the team, saying he offers a level of earned autonomy while also serving as a good figure for guidance. The German went on to address the development the F1 team has undergone since the Williams family’s departure.
Capito admitted he hadn’t ever had the chance to work with Frank Williams directly, before Clarkson probed, seeking to discover whether or not Capito had previously been approached by the historic team to take a high-up position, which he says he supported in his childhood.
The 62-year-old shares that the team has little in common with those at which he has worked previously, though he concedes that it is similarly different to his other motorsport experiences and is therefore not especially unique.
After discussing his short-lived motocross enduro racing career, Capito mentioned his attempt at Dakar inspired by this racing, this being the race he considers the toughest in the world to this day given the need for an all-around competitor.
Shortly following this, Capito clarified Jenson Button’s role in the team before addressing his time at Sauber and his work on the proton engine. When asked, the German argued that the team being based in Switzerland had both pros and cons for the team, which existed outside of Britains “motorsport valley.”
At Sauber, Capito played a major role in the decision to recruit Kimi Raikkonen – a decision which, albeit bold, Capito says he knew was the right one immediately. After this, he briefly touched on his time with Ford’s motorsport program.
Capito described the driving of Williams’ George Russell as “brilliant,” and acknowledged that the Brit can be demanding.- but only in a constructive sense. The German admits Russell may leave for new projects at the end of this year. After further discussion, the episode ended.
Here’s where you can listen the podcast (FOM has blocked from embedding): https://audioboom.com/posts/7848812-jost-capito-on-reviving-williams-fortunes-learning-on-the-dakar-and-jenson-button-s-role
Here’s last F1 Beyond The Grid podcast with Jarno Trulli