New Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds enjoyed his first day of track action with his new employer at Spa today, as he begins the process of trying to help the team get back on track.
He says his priority is to look at how the organization operates.
“Williams does have that incredible heritage and it’s a heritage I respect a lot,” said Symonds. “But we can’t live in the past. They were great times, of course they were, but my job now is to make the team today as successful as it was then. It’s quite a challenge, but it’s a very enjoyable challenge. The fundamentals of the team are there. It’s a very well equipped team, it has some very good people in it.
“An analogy I often use is it’s like being the conductor of an orchestra. I think we have some very good instrumentalists in our orchestra. And now we just really need to get them timed together, playing the same tune and bring the success back.
“I think with a lot of what I’m trying to do with Williams is still a bit of a process rather than the detail and that process can have an effect, reasonably quickly. Now, we are engaged in a battle this year as well, and there are still updates to come to the car: there’s a new front wing, there’s new bodywork, there’s quite a few major upgrades but of course they are things that are already well in the pipeline and not things that I will be influencing.
“So really my job is to try and look at the process of determining how we get the performance out of the car and I hope that that will have some influence this year but of course it’s not a five minute job and I think we will see a lot more in 2014.”
Symonds said it was too early to say whether the team would be looking for new recruits.
“Well, the first thing to remember is that I’ve been there four days, so it’s very much first impressions, but those first impressions are that it’s a team with fabulous facilities, it’s a great factory, there’s most of the equipment that we need there and a lot of very good people.
“And of course, while I may have been there only four days, a lot of those people I have known for many years and worked with many of them, so there is a lot of quality. And I think I would re-iterate what I said earlier, that I think that what we need to do at Williams is that we need to look at process, and that’s really where my focus will be.”