Williams could soon be bolstered by the arrival of another senior member of staff if reports linking Nick Chester, chassis engineer and ex-of Renault are to be believed.
Long-term Renault stalwart Chester, first worked with ‘The Enstone Team’ – as they’re often called as a result of their many name changes – when it was Benetton, but now finds himself on gardening leave as Renault implements a new structure in an effort to move its F1 concern forward following a disappointing season where it slipped back from its works competition, behind its customer McLaren.
Heading in the opposite direction is ex-Williams aerodynamicist Dirk De Beer, who joins Renault for 2020, replacing Peter Machin.
Many people expect Nick Chester to fill the void left by Paddy Lowe‘s departure from Williams at the beginning of the 2019 season after a disastrous birth for the team’s FW42, missing the first week of F1’s crucial pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, and never fully recovering from performance issues that caused it to be a full two seconds off the pace in the season opener in Australia.
Lowe’s role has been divvied up between Doug McKiernan (aero), Adam Carter (design), Barney Hassell (vehicle dynamics) and Dave Robson (trackside operations) in the absence of a direct replacement.
The division of responsibility allowed Williams to seek and appoint the right person, rather than act in haste and regret it at a later date.
It would appear that, after a season long search, ‘the right person’ might have been made available, and Williams may now be in a position to appoint.
Whether or not it’s too late to influence the 2020 Formula 1 season remains to be seen. Williams may have one or both eyes on the new breed of F1 in 2021 as being their opportunity to climb back up to respectability, and with that being the case, now is the time for them to act.