George Russell says it is “incredibly important” that Williams now has a Technical Director, outlining the team is now focusing on performance rather than its survival, following its mid-2020 takeover.
Russell joined Williams for 2019 but spent only a brief period working with a Technical Director, as Paddy Lowe was placed on a leave of absence of pre-season testing, prior to his eventual exit.
Williams did not appoint a direct replacement until last month when it confirmed that it had recruited FX Demaison to join the team.
“I think it’s incredibly important to have a technical director,” said Russell.
“Basically you’ve got so many different departments, a Formula 1 race car is one massive jigsaw puzzle, you’ve got to put those pieces together of which a technical director is the one orchestrating that.
“It’s been very difficult and there’s been a lot of people have been put in and had to do jobs that they weren’t necessarily signed up for because there wasn’t anybody necessarily leading them and they were having to lead themselves.
“They were just doing jobs that wasn’t their role because of the situation.”
Demaison was headhunted by Jost Capito, who joined in February, with the pair having previously worked together at Volkswagen’s title-winning WRC outfit.
Russell believes the presence of new senior figures, along with other changes made since Dorilton Capital’s acquisition of the team last August, emphasises the refreshed approach.
“In the years to come, with the arrival of [Capito], I really feel that we’ve got a firm boss at the helm who will be able to structure a proper technical ream around us to help improve ultimately the performance of the car,” he said.
“Obviously we’ve not had a technical director in my whole reign at Williams, which is crazy to think about.
“The priority I guess in my whole time at Williams until Dorilton took over was keeping the team afloat, keeping people’s jobs alive, keeping the team alive, as opposed to making the car go as fast as possible.
“The focus was just keeping the team in Formula 1 which was absolutely the correct thing to do but now the funds are there and we can now get back to fully focusing on the performance.”