Williams ‘already completed the turnaround’

Date published: December 17 2018

Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe believes that the team has already turned around their fortunes.

The Grove outfit had a disastrous 2018 campaign, in which they finished bottom of the table after scoring just seven points all year.

Lowe is confident, though, that the team has identified the problems and that the solutions are already in place to ensure an improvement next season.

“2018 was an extremely difficult year for Williams,” Lowe admitted.

“But the good thing is people have recognised the problems and are working hard on them.

“I’m not going to make pinpoint predictions and say we will improve in the World Championship.

“But I know we will be better. We have already completed the turnaround.”

Three big names have departed the team. Former head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer and former chief designer Ed Wood left during the season.

This week, head of performance engineering Rob Smedley also departed, as he takes a break from Formula 1.

“Things are changing at Williams but these things take time,” Lowe added.

“First of all, you need changes in the technical department, that’s the only way you can build a better car.

“There are a hundred reasons [for 2018’s poor performance] – in the race car, in the way we design and develop the car. And that’s the point, there is no panacea.

“We are working on all of them.”

The turnover at the team looks set to continue into 2019, with Lowe saying that Williams had been “too static”.

“You need changes in the organisation, but these do not take effect immediately,” he continued.

“We are the third oldest team in Formula 1 and some employees have been with us for many, many years.

“Sometimes you need a little fresh blood. We have to make sure that we have the skilled workers with the right knowledge to plot a new approach.

“We are currently on this journey.”

Lowe rejoined the team in 2017, after a stint with Mercedes, but he believes that the problems at Williams go back much further than the last couple of seasons.

“Our last victory was back in 2012 with Pastor Maldonado in Spain and the last victory before that was in 2004. That was a long time ago,” he said.

“My conclusion: our performance has been poor for years.”

His final point was saying that there is no reason as to why Williams couldn’t make there way back up the field.

“We have experienced and loyal people, we have a great racing car factory, we own our own the land and all the buildings, which is not the case with all racing teams,” he said.

“We have a first-class wind tunnel. All the ingredients are there, now it’s all about how we use them.”

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