Williams’ new CEO, Jost Capito’s successor, Simon Vowles, has confirmed that his number one priority is to appoint a new Technical Director for the team. Vowles, who officially started with the team on February 20, made the announcement during last week’s pre-season test in Bahrain, where he fielded questions about the team’s future.
The decision comes after Williams parted ways with their previous Technical Director, FX Demaison, as part of the team’s reshuffle over the winter. Vowles believes that Williams currently lacks the proper technical structures and organization needed to move forward, and that appointing a new Technical Director is crucial.
“I think the primary thing is that we don’t have the structure in place technically, obviously, as a result of the changes that were made,” said Vowles. “Number one is let’s put in place a proper set of structures, in terms of Technical Director, head of aero. Clearly an organization needs those to move forward.”
Despite the urgency of the situation, Vowles stated that the team will not rush into appointing a new Technical Director. Instead, he emphasized that the key is finding the right person for the long-term.
“There’s a strong organization in place and it’s acting without a TD as we speak today. There’s a car on track, it’s built, [and] they did an incredible job over the winter to achieve that,” he said. “What’s clear is this is not about short-term putting someone in place, this is about long-term and making sure we have the right person in place.”
Vowles also acknowledged the challenges of working within the cost cap and the difficulty of requesting or paying for necessary resources. However, he is confident that Williams has what it takes to cope in the meantime, even without a Technical Director.
“There’s a car on track, there’s a good organization behind it, but it’s not at the level that it needs to be, and that’s where the changes will be made in the coming months,” said Vowles.
With the 2023 Formula 1 season just around the corner, Williams will need to act quickly to find the right person to fill the position of Technical Director. Nevertheless, Vowles’ emphasis on finding the right candidate for the long-term is an indication that the team is looking to build a solid foundation for sustained success in the future.