Williams F1 has taken to the classifieds section of this week’s Autosport to advertise eight different roles within its aerodynamics department in an attempt to quickly progress the ailing FW42.
In what appears to an obvious clue as to what lies behind their current plight, the Grove outfit, currently at the very back of the F1 grid for the second year in succession, are seeking to recruit a senior aerodynamic surface designer, a senior aerodynamicist, and a senior CFD methodology engineer amongst others.
Tellingly they’re also looking for a windtunnel methodology engineer hinting that one of the key issues that blighted their 2018 season, ie the data from the wind tunnel not aligning with what happens real-time has not yet been properly addressed.
In the advert, Williams state that the investment that comes as part of the deal with ROKiT to become title sponsor has allowed them to strengthen their aerodynamics department.
This could be Williams’ attempt to unlock the potential of a car suffering from a fundamental, but ultimately fixable flaw in double quick time to avoid another season of prolonged embarrassment.
However, with senior figures within the aero team being released mid-2018 (as a result of the cock-ups that resulted in the FW41 being Williams’ worst ever car in terms of performance and results) and rumoured not to have been replaced, it could also be Williams closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
This recruitment drive follows a 2019 season opener where neither Williams managed to trouble any of the other 18 cars in qualifying or the race following a turbulent pre-season during which Williams failed to emerge for the first official test until day three of eight, several of its aero furniture needed redesigning to comply with FIA regulations and CTO Paddy Lowe leaving the team (seemingly for good).
Despite their current lowly status I’d have imagined, perhaps naively, Williams to be one of the biggest draws in the motorsport industry, and that they’d have a people queuing up to get involved from who they could take their pick.
Or failing that, Williams would have scouted any serious talent within the industry (particularly in an area as important as aerodynamics) ready to pounce at the earliest opportunity in order to build up a crack team of handpicked aces with which to attack F1.
Can a shout out for talent in a motorsport mag really nail the issues that have crippled Williams since the end of 2017?
I suppose it’s got to be worth a try.