Pat Symonds is targeting a big push on the development of Williams’ 2014 car as he begins work with the team in his new role as technical director.
The 60-year-old left Marussia last month to take up his new role at the Grove-based team who have scored just one point this season and sit ninth in the constructors’ championship.
While Symonds is still hoping for an improvement this season, starting with this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix – which will be his first race with his new team – he is aware focus needs to switch to 2014 to prepare for the new regulations.
Symonds, who was race engineer to Michael Schumacher when he won two titles with Benetton, said: “There are developments going on for the remainder of this season. We have new parts coming to races as far out as Korea and beyond. They are not things I’ve had influence on but I can see them in the development programme.
“I hope we can look at some smaller details from the wind tunnel to improve things over the coming races and I’ll be looking at the operational side too. Fundamentally focus has to be much more towards 2014 as it’s an immensely difficult programme, the most difficult we have had to tackle for a long while.
“The FW36 is well underway and I think it’s important I get my influence onto that. However, my influence will be much more on process rather than detail, so I hope that pays off and leads to the sort of structure that can lead to on-going success for the team.”
Symonds, who stayed with Benetton when they became Renault, winning further constructors’ and drivers’ titles as the team’s executive director of engineering, added that his aim to return the team to the front of the grid – but admitted it will take time.
“My primary aim is to bring success back to the team and I will be very singular in my focus to achieve that,” he added. “I want the people who are working with me to enjoy that success and be an integral part of bringing Williams back to where I think it should be. It will take time to analyse what is happening and improve things but it’s up to me to facilitate this process.”
Williams have won nine constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ titles, but the last of each of those came back in 1997. The team have also won just one race – the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix – since 2004.