Williams still against becoming a B-team

Williams’ Nicholas Latifi

Williams remains adamant it will not become a B-team, according to Team Principal Simon Roberts, despite embarking on a new era disconnected from its founding family.

Formula 1 has seen a spate of close partnerships between manufacturer teams and their customers in recent times, including Ferrari now establishing a facility at its Maranello base for former staff to work for Haas.

That move arose as a result of the budget cap which will be imposed from next year, an initiative leading to tighter team alliances in the championship.

Williams has remained staunchly independent under the leadership of Sir Frank’s daughter, Claire, but the family nowadays has no formal involvement with the outfit after selling to a United States investment firm this year.

Roberts insists that ethos will continue, despite the new Dorilton Capital ownership.

However, he is open to the idea of buying components from other suppliers when that makes sense, given the need to extract the most out of every dollar under the new cost cap.

“We can see advantages but we don’t want to become a B-team,” said Roberts.

“We want to retain our independence but we want to be more competitive.

“For us, looking forward, we’re open to extending a relationship but the specification of that would depend on what we think we’re strong at, internally, and where we think we need help and support.

“In simple terms, if we’re good at something and we can do it – quicker to the market, quicker to the track – should focus on that.

“If there’s something we can’t do very well, then we should be prepared to buy that from whoever’s got it available and under the cost cap, you can’t afford to be inefficient and that’s what we’re focusing on.

“We need to make sure that if we’re making chassis, we’re really good at making our chassis and we apply that to everything in the car.

“But we are independent, we’re going to remain independent but there is scope for collaboration.”

Roberts also stated that there will not be a significant change in direction for Williams Racing under its new ownership.

“From the cultural fit, with the team, there’s a lot of synergy between the road map that Claire had laid out and we’re staying very true to that,” he explained.

“We want to be a great place to work. We want to make sure we’re caring and kind to all the people who work for us and we want to just do all the right things.

“In terms of the technology though, we now have the opportunity to invest and that’s what we’re doing. That’s started already.

“There’s not much impact of that on the car we’re racing on now but we will start to see that next year.

“Really this year is part of a long-term strategy, I always say, and that will build slowly over the next five years.

“The main thing is, we want to invest wisely, we don’t want to make mistakes and we want to play the long game and that’s what we’re doing.”

Meanwhile, Williams Racing announced on Thursday that its founder, Sir Frank, had been discharged from hospital.

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