‘No timeline’ to confirm Williams team boss

Date published: October 3 2020

Simon Roberts of Williams

Acting team principal Simon Roberts has insisted Williams’ new owners are in no huge rush to appoint a permanent figurehead.

Roberts, who was the Managing Director of Williams F1, took over masterminding operations on the pit wall when Claire Williams stood down after the Italian Grand Prix last month.

Claire had been deputy team principal to her father Sir Frank, but in August the team was sold to American investment company Dorilton Capital.

Before his appointment in June, Roberts had spent nearly 17 years at McLaren as operations director and chief operating officer with a short spell in between in the latter role for Force India.

Dorilton Capital are currently assessing the Williams team following their purchase and for the time being, Roberts is happy to continue spearheading day-to-day operations until the new owners decide who they want as the team principal going forward.

“There is no timeline,” Roberts told Sky Sports F1. “It’s all happened quickly and Dorilton didn’t expect Claire to step down. We all really appreciate what she has done and we all understand why she might want to do that.

“The most important thing is continuity. I can provide that for them and the team. Although I’ve not been at the team long I was there as the MD [Managing Director] anyway.

“So I am really honoured to be asked to take on this role. It’s important we just do the right thing, make sure the team are well supported and the Dorilton team understand what we are doing and why.”

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George Russell

Although they have been more competitive than during a dismal 2019 campaign for them, Williams have yet to score a point in 2020.

Asked whether the team needs a philosophy change now that they are no longer independent, Roberts replied: “That’s a really good question. Philosophically, what Dorilton are about is performance and there’s quite a lot of synergy between the financial world and Formula 1. Much more than I imagined before I met them.

“But at the moment, everything is kind of in-play really. There is no masterplan and it will all be what is the right thing to do for them and for us.

“They are 100% focused on performance. They know this isn’t a quick turnaround and are well studied about what has gone on in the past 10 years or so.

“They just want to do the right things at the right pace for us so we are there for the long term and are successful in the long term.”

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