Wil­liams over­haul their struc­ture to fo­cus on F1

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Af­ter sell­ing off a tech com­pany and re­struc­tur­ing their team, Wil­liams are en­joy­ing a suc­cess­ful start to the new sea­son

Wil­liams have un­der­lined their ab­so­lute de­ter­mi­na­tion to get back to where they be­lieve they be­long, at the top of For­mula 1, by de­cid­ing to sell off one of their suc­cess­ful an­cil­lary com­pa­nies. Wil­liams Hy­brid Power, which de­vel­ops elec­tric ywheel en­ergy stor­age tech­nol­ogy, has been sold to the global en­gi­neer­ing group GKN.

Wil­liams will, how­ever, re­tain Ad­vanced En­gi­neer­ing, an­other of their com­pa­nies, which pro­vides "world class tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tion, en­gi­neer­ing, test­ing, and man­u­fac­tur­ing ser­vices to a di­verse cus­tomer base”. Al­though both com­pa­nies have pro­vided rev­enues to the wider Wil­liams group, Ad­vanced En­gi­neer­ing pro­vides the most, and Wil­liams are hold­ing on to it be­cause they be­lieve it will con­tinue to do so.

Ac­cord­ing to deputy team prin­ci­pal Claire Wil­liams, a de­ci­sion has been made to fo­cus the busi­ness more on F1 and on where the board be­lieves the most lu­cra­tive fu­ture rev­enue streams will come from. This fol­lows a ma­jor re­struc­tur­ing of the F1 team dur­ing 2013 and over the win­ter, af­ter Wil­liams and the rest of the board re­alised they had lost their way.

The lead­er­ship struc­ture was over­hauled as tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Mike Cough­lan left and was re­placed by Pat Sy­monds in the new role of chief tech­ni­cal ofcer. Sy­monds, in turn, set about re­or­gan­is­ing the en­gi­neer­ing staff. The nal piece in that jig­saw fell into place in Bahrain, when for­mer Fer­rari race en­gi­neer Rob Smed­ley joined Wil­liams in his new role as head of ve­hi­cle per­for­mance.

The ev­i­dence so far is that the changes have made a dif­fer­ence. Even al­low­ing for the ad­van­tage of a Mercedes en­gine, Wil­liams have made a big step for­ward, bat­tling with McLaren and Force In­dia for the hon­our of be­ing fastest Mercedes team in the early part of the sea­son.

For Wil­liams, that is not enough. But it is an­other step in the right di­rec­tion.

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