The 2019 Formula One season was
one beset with issues for the ROKiT Williams Team ranging from the late
arrival of the FW42 to pre-season testing followed by a variety of issues
relating to the performance of the car through to the availability of parts
and the delays in seeing updates arrive for the car during the season.
All these would see the Williams
Team forced to closely re-examine the way that the team manages a wide
variety of processes within the organisation to ensure that they are not
repeated in their preparations for and during the 2020 season.
In a recent interview with Autosport.com Deputy Team Principal Claire
Williams spoke of the season that the team just completed and the laid down
one fundamental guideline that "It can't happen again."
"You've got to sometimes hit rock bottom to know what your issues are
because otherwise you just... sometimes you just go through these situations
and you can get to where you need to get to by the skin of your teeth.
"But you actually need to understand what's going on in your system to make
sure that you're not just getting somewhere by the skin of your teeth and
you've got to have a plan and a proper process."
Claire spoke of how the team had gone through a close examination of where
things went wrong and where they could be improved an investigation that she
described as "an incredibly useful exercise".
"You can put plasters on stuff, but unless you actually wish to fix them and
unless you can get to the root causes for problems, those problems are
probably going to resurface and come and bite you again."
"What we did after testing was implement this very thorough after-action
review across every single process that was involved and accountable for
"It was an incredibly useful exercise, because it exposed all the weaknesses
that we had and allowed us to put fixes in place.
"And I would say that the team responded really well to that because it can
be quite difficult for people to be very open and honest in those
situations, but we encouraged honesty within it.
"In any situation like that it can always be difficult for people to put
their hands up and be honest and open.
"But our team was incredibly receptive to the process that we asked them to
go through, which allowed us to put in place a load of plans in order to
address the areas of weakness that were causing the issues in the first
Joining in on such a process of
evaluation has been new 2020 driver Nicholas Latifi who spoke of his desire
to assist the team by “looking forward to doing whatever” to help Williams
move forward from their disastrous 2019 season.
Latifi has been in the role of
reserve driver for the Williams team but 2020 will see him move into the
role of full-time driver. In a recent interview for MotorsportWeek Nicholas
spoke of the challenges ahead. He commented:
“I think going into Formula 1 as a rookie is always going to be difficult
and have its own challenges.”
“I think I’m joining a great team for a first year, they have their history
of developing young drivers, one of the most successful teams in Formula 1.
“So I think two bad years doesn’t define a team’s legacy, doesn’t define
what they’re capable of.
“I have complete faith in everyone from what I’ve seen so far working in the
team that people will get on top of the problems and hopefully be back to a
more representative order.
“But I’m just looking forward to doing whatever I can next year to help
Nicholas added: “For sure there are going to be challenges. I’m definitely
not underestimating what the challenge of Formula 1 will be.”
“I know I’m going to have a lot to learn, but I have had the opportunity
this year to have quite a few on-track opportunities with them. I know what
to expect from the car.
“I feel good in the team, the team environment right from my first day, I
felt at home, which I think is important when you are jumping into a new
team, especially a Formula 1 team. So yeah, I’m looking forward to it.”