Williams F1 Meltdown
Frank Williams started up Williams Grand Prix Engineering in 1977; it was at the very beginning that he signed up Patrick Head. That’s a long-standing working relationship.
In March of this year (2011) Williams F1 listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. They’ve won the Formula One Constructor’s Championship no fewer than 9 times.
All this makes it very worrying that with this amount of history and success it can still all get very ugly within what should be a solid team.
The cause of the recent Williams F1 overhaul has to be found in multiple places.
I would start looking at the top – seeing whose the most motivated out of everyone to get the team to winning ways – and unfortunately for Williams their race weekend strategies and attitudes don’t really show anyone willing to give their ALL, get excited, get upset, scream at someone – do anything to try and win. It seems some people in Williams started accepting not to win races and that finishing 5th, 6th, 7th is not too bad. Dangerous attitude to have because to get out of that rut is difficult. Sam Michael and Patrick Head might be the right place to start then.
One aside to note is that Adrian Newey used to be their designer and not long after he left them did the Williams brand start floundering. Their last Constructors Championship came in 1997. Newey left Williams in 1996 and moved to McLaren. Guess who won the 1998 and 1999 Championships? It was rumored that Adrian Newey left because his path upward in the hierarchy of Williams was blocked by one Patrick Head, the then technical director. How to budge a founding share-holder? Well you can’t, really.
There is a bit of a spat that’s come to light between the self-same Patrick Head and Adam Parr. Adam Parr is the chairman so this is definitely not the same fight.Continued on the next page