Capito: Changes at Williams key to recent upswing in F1 form

Williams Formula 1 boss Jost Capito believes the team’s recent improvement in form has not been “sudden”, but down to continued improvements and recent organisational changes.

After scoring just one point across the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Williams has recently enjoyed a resurgence in form, recording a top-10 finish in four of the last five races.

George Russell scored the team’s first podium since Azerbaijan 2017 in the rain-shortened Belgian Grand Prix, and qualified third in Sochi last weekend before finishing the race 10th.

Former Volkswagen motorsport chief Capito joined Williams as its new CEO over the winter before taking over the day-to-day running of the F1 operations following the exit of team principal Simon Roberts in June.

In his role, Capito has overseen a number of structural changes at Williams, changing the way different parts of the F1 team interact and work with each other.

Speaking about Williams’ recent upswing in form over the Sochi weekend, Capito said that he “wouldn’t say it was sudden”, but down to the changes that have been made across the F1 team.

“It’s a continuous improvement of how to work,” Capito said.

“We changed our organisation, we changed communications, we changed responsibilities, and we’re working much more as a team.

George Russell, Williams FW43B

George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“We also changed the strategy, how we approach the race event. We got a bit more proactive and aggressive, and not just defensive. I think we put more pride in the operation, said we could do things different.

“If you have the ninth-fastest car, you can try things differently, and not be always on the back foot and try to conserve what you have, try something different that others might not be able to try because they are up front, and for them it would be risky.

“I think a couple of times, we’ve taken the risk, with the tyre choice for the weather, and it worked out.

“I think it shows that the team works better as an overall team on communication. I’m surprised how much that can make the car faster without actually improving the car.”

Williams’ recent haul of points has put it in control of the fight for eighth place in the constructors’ championship. The team sits 16 points clear of Alfa Romeo in the standings with seven races remaining this year.

Russell felt that the team’s points in the Hungarian Grand Prix - its first race in the points since Germany 2019 - marked a breakthrough moment for the squad.

“Having scored those points in Hungary, there was less pressure on everybody's shoulders, and we could go out there and enjoy it,” Russell said.

“Obviously we had a really great result in Spa as well, and I think that gave the whole team another boost, to say 'we can do this when everybody excels and does a good job’.

“I think it proves when every single team member comes together and does their part to the best of their abilities, good things are possible. So I’m definitely happy.”

shares
comments

Related video

Alonso: Alpine “ultra competitive” in best race of year
Previous article

Alonso: Alpine “ultra competitive” in best race of year

Next article

Why Alfa believes Norris should have been penalised in Sochi

Why Alfa believes Norris should have been penalised in Sochi
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021