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Williams admits Newey 'mistake'

ESPNF1 Staff
February 27, 2012 « F1 'impossible' for new teams - Prost | Home pressure won't faze Webber »
Sir Frank Williams: "There's still a problem, it's called Adrian Newey. There's only one of him" © Sutton Images
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Sir Frank Williams admits that it was "a mistake" to let Adrian Newey leave his team after rejecting a request to give him shares.

Newey joined Williams in 1990, and had won 51 races, three drivers' championships and four constructors' titles by the time he left for McLaren mid-way through the 1997 season. Williams went on to win both 1997 championships too with the FW19 - the last car that received Newey's input - and has not won a title since.

Williams has revealed that the reason behind Newey's departure was a disagreement over shareholding, and admitted that it's proven to be an error.

"He wanted some shares that I didn't want to give to him at the time," Williams told F1 Racing. "[That] was arguably, with hindsight, a mistake. Adrian is quite a remarkable individual."

Reflecting on the troubled season that the team endured in 2011, Williams said that the car was fundamentally slow. He added that while the new technical team should see the team improve he believes Williams will never have the quickest car while Newey is working for another team.

"I'm not an engineer but I've seen lots of good cars and lots of bad cars - and ours wasn't quick enough. It was deficient in most of the areas that matter, but we were completely lacking in the most important one of all, which is aero. And probably a bit of horsepower. It just wasn't a quick car.

"The Renault engine gives us hope. We have three new technical people - one is our technical director, one is chief of aero and one is running the cars. They have different backgrounds coming from three different teams. There's still a problem, it's called Adrian Newey. There's only one of him."

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