- Williams news
2012 will be first step towards brighter future - Williams
Sir Frank Williams is confident his recent management shake-up will produce results but has warned not to expect any material results until next season.
After the worst start to a Formula One season in its history, Williams took the decision to part ways with technical director Sam Michael and split his responsibilities among a new group of people. Mike Coughlan, Mark Gillan and Jason Somerville have all be signed up to develop the 2012 car with Coughlan, who is best known for his role in McLaren's spygate affair, now having worked at the team for over a month.
Gillan, who has worked for McLaren, Jaguar and Toyota, will start work in October while Somerville, who comes straight from the Renault team having started his F1 career at Williams in 1997, starts work later this month. But Williams has warned that it will take at least six months for the fruits of the new team's labour to hit the track.
"Well we've got a few new people in the team now in Mike Coughlan who takes on the role of Chief Engineer, Mark Gillan who will take the role of Chief Operations Engineer and Jason Somerville as Head of Aerodynamics, so it's full steam ahead," he told ESPNF1 in an exclusive interview. "I would guess it will be six months until we have another product coming out of the design office, wind tunnel etc and we hope it will be markedly better. Anyway, that's step one of the rebuilding process."
Current technical director Michael will leave the team at the end of the year, but Williams admitted that he had not been given the proper support in his role.
"Sam Michael was rather put in a difficult position," he added. "The depth and experience of technical back-up we've now put together for the future and which took us a little while to realise were not available to him and he should have been better supported. But I'm a huge fan of Sam, he's a major, major racer and just lives for it seven days a week and most weeks of the year he was in the factory at Grove and was totally dedicated. I couldn't ask for more than that and an extremely grateful for all his hard work."
And Williams says he's aware that his team had not lived up to its high expectations in recent years.
"It isn't easy, whether you're winning or losing, this game is very, very hard," he said. "But yes, we've had quite a struggle technically for a number of years and there's no escaping or running away from that. We're trying as hard as possible to reinvent ourselves and somewhere soon it will come together."