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Parr confident Williams woes will make team stronger
Williams chairman Adam Parr has told Autosport that the trials and tribulations the team experienced in 2011 were an important part of the learning process to help it improve.
Parr admitted what had become apparent was that the whole structure of the team needed an overhaul. "In reality we've been in the middle ranks for some years now," he said. "You don't have to do anything if you're plodding along in the middle in this sort of cotton wool world, and I think what's happened to us is that we have really seen not only that the current level of performance is unacceptable, but also the need to make radical changes.
"It was actually put very nicely by Mark Gillan. Patrick [Head] said to him, 'I wish this season was over,' and Mark said, 'Everything that we're experiencing out there is vital.' If Mark and the other new members of the team had joined at the end of the season, they wouldn't have seen many of the underlying problems."
Parr said what had been learnt left him optimistic for the future. "Sometimes in life you're not performing, but you don't know why. We understand precisely where we're weak, where the opportunities are, and what we have to do to get there. The next question is, do we have the people and resources in place to make those changes? And the answer is, absolutely."
Williams have made sweeping changes, with Mike Coughlan now in position as technical director, Mark Gillan as chief operations engineer, and Jason Somerville leading the aerodynamic department.
"To be honest we needed some fresh eyes, turning over the rocks, looking at all the nasty stuff under the rocks, and bringing it to the surface, and just getting it out there," Parr told Autosport. "I've been here for five years and you adapt to the environment you're in and the way you do things, and you accept it. And what we have learned this year is that we can't accept certain things."