James Vowles talks about the changes which will be needed at Williams to push it back in the F1 midfield forum.
Having still to join Williams in official capacity as team principal, Vowles doesn’t wish to get into the discussions on why the Grove-based F1 outfit hasn’t been able to shine in the last few years. He feels, it will be wrong to assume anything before being there.
But from what he has seen, Vowles reckons Williams was missing the strength that Dorilton Capital could bring upon. “It’s hard to answer what’s wrong simply because as I speak to you all here, I haven’t set foot inside,” he said. “My contact has been fairly limited, for purposeful reasons, I’m still in the transition point.
“What will definitely be wrong is when you are hurting, and when you have been punished, and you’ve been pushed down as an organisation, because you are suffering, that doesn’t get better year on year, unless you get a change to what’s going on. A change to the culture, a change to the methods, and systems.
“I suspect a lot of it was that, if we go back a few years, we didn’t have the strength that Dorilton. Dorilton really want and will invest the correct amount to make this a prominent team. And I don’t think that was fair to say that was the case just a few years ago, and the impact of them will take a while to properly kick in,” summed up Vowles.
Whats done is done but the future can be different for Williams. Looking from the outside and understanding the structure, Vowles is in agreement that they need to re-strengthen the technical team having lost its technical director FX Demaison.
Vowles thinks that Williams hasn’t been able to utilise their partnerships to the fullest. Taking Mercedes power unit which has been the best of the lot in the hybrid era, the British F1 team still languished at the bottom since they couldn’t utlise that potential.
The other problems masked that performance and utilisation which Vowles wishes to make the team realise and change to bring some success. “I am one change but clearly one individual won’t make it,” he said. “What is required is a re-strengthening of the technical team, but also allowing those internally that are incredibly good to shine and prosper, and I suspect the environment that they’ve had around isn’t one that would be have been conducive to that for a period of time.
“What I’m doing different is that I am fortunate enough to have known failure on levels that unfortunately many of you have publicly seen. Even prior to Mercedes, there were times that we were lavishing in a very poor position. We didn’t score a point for twelve races.
“The real gain that you get out of this is that you have to instil a culture that allows everyone to realise that you have to be empowered, you have to grow, you have to move forward as a unit together, and it has to be one collaborative motion. And I strongly suspect that they’ve put themselves in a situation where that collaboration isn’t quite as good as it could be or should be, just simply because it has been quite a few years of pain that has cemented it,” summed up Vowles.
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