9x F1 Champions Make Tragic Confession to Accepting “Survival Mode” Fate: “You Have to Catch Up”

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The Williams F1 team hasn’t always had things come easy for it. The team has had 114 race wins,  seven world drivers’ titles, and nine constructors’ titles. This puts them in a place that’ll leave their mark for years to come in the field of motor racing. CEO and team principal  Jost Capito has been trying to bring in waves of change in the team’s culture, something that is the fundamental building block of belief.

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Capito joined the team back in 2020. On a recent podcast, ‘High Performance’, he revealed that in the past, the family struggled with sponsors which gravely affected the team’s performance. He said, “In the years before the Williams family sold the team, they had difficult times on the financial side, on the sponsor side. So there was not a huge amount to invest and to take the team forward. It was very much in survival mode.”

He explained how watching other teams move forward creates a gap between your team and your competitors. That adds to the belief of “we can’t do this, we can’t do that.”

As long as the team is still in the game, it’s okay but then there is a want to do better. He exclaimed, “It’s not that easy either, because we have the gap to the bigger teams, yeah. They have done the investment, we haven’t done the investment. So you have to catch up.”

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All the optimism and team culture that Jost Capito has been executing is still falling short as the team struggles to keep up.

Jost on the 2022 F1 season for Williams

In the current F1 season of 2022, the Williams F1 team is down in the barrels. Jost Capito isn’t happy with their car performance and accepts not being in a place they planned for, which is the upper midfield.

He strongly believes the issues lie in their management and lack of discipline as their objectives are very clear. He urged the team with changes on an internal level to bring about the team spirit as it ties in every person on the team for an open dialogue. This would help report issues on any level at the company and adhere to them effectively.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021 Williams Racing Chief Executive Officer Jost Capito in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

In an exclusive interview with Motorsport, He said, “It took a while to find out what really has to be changed, where the team actually is,”

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“Being for four years at the very back, it has had an impact on the culture; it has an impact on the team mentality. And it kills a bit of the fighting spirit, because you’re not really competing. I think I would say I underestimated that.”

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Jost Capito is finding a way to build team spirit again. Meanwhile, the team is keen to come up with solutions to a better car. Will all these add to Williams competing in the mid-field with Alpine and Mclaren on a consistent basis? Only time will tell.

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