By contrast, as the Frank and Patrick era came to a close at Williams, the team was somewhat cast adrift. Heavy recruitments were made from McLaren in an attempt at shoring up technical departments and it’s easy to imagine how this was a process not without tensions and resentments at the coal face. Strong, inspiring leadership is needed to pull everyone along so that any clashes evaporate as the team moves forward and progresses.
Capito has come in with a great reputation, highly intelligent and a very effective organiser. But he will have his own way of doing things that is neither traditional Williams nor McLaren, his own philosophies and his own trusted people from whom he can take his bearings – and Demaison and Rampf are clearly two of those. But he’s very early into the process and in that process, he’s introduced yet another culture into the team.
Just like at McLaren, but probably more so, there are bound to be some bruising experiences in this process. Having experienced working at a company taken over by owners from a different culture and country and watched how morale of the incumbent people dropped, feeling they didn’t fit or their value wasn’t understood, I know it’s something which cannot be under-estimated. It can be no one’s fault, but won’t necessarily feel like that to either side. It’s just a painful process.
But it can be got through. Capito has taken leadership of a team with inherited problems and has been set a task by the owners. He will stand or fall by how he performs in that task but he has to be left to do it in his own way and given time for his vision to be implemented. But there might be some turbulence.