Williams was stuck in the 90s – Symonds

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Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds says the team’s attitude was mired in the past when he first arrived at the Grove-based squad.

Symonds was brought into Williams from Marussia in 2013 to overhaul the team’s operating procedures, after a series of disappointing years.

Williams returned to the forefront of the grid in 2014, securing third in the constructors’ championship and ending the year as Mercedes’ closest challengers.

“In the mid-90s when I was at Benetton my main rival was Williams. So yes, I was a bit surprised when I arrived at Grove to find there were certain aspects that had not really moved on from these days,” Symonds told the Official Formula 1 website.

“Not so much technically – the main thing was attitude. The attitude hadn’t moved on. That surprised me. There was more to do than I had expected when I arrived.”

According to Symonds, Williams was lacking in organisation and discipline, which meant it efforts were going to waste.

“I saw that we had some really good people but they weren’t very organised, so a lot of the efforts were going to the wrong places.

“What I think I’ve done is not to tell them how to design a car, but outline ‘this is how to work’. When I then saw people working together I started to think about performance.

“There might now be a bit more discipline in how Williams works and people are much more productive now.

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“I have not achieved any miracles – it is down to the fact that I had really good people when I arrived and I started to use them properly. That is what made the difference.”

Pressed on the most important changes implemented at Williams, Symonds said: “Communication is one, I put the emphasis on car/team performance rather than wind tunnel performance, and these kinds of things.

“The third thing is to empower people to make decisions without fear. These are the three most important aspects of getting Williams back on its feet.”

Images courtesy of Williams F1 Team

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