Claire Williams has confirmed that new recruit Pat Symonds will be employed initially to help improve the performance of this year's FW35, before turning his attention to ensuring that the team does not suffer another season like 2013.
Having quit his consultancy role at Marussia, Symonds will take up his new position at Williams once the traditional F1 'summer break' is over, and will immediately be thrust into a two-pronged workload, with initial focus falling on helping the FW35 move up the order – hopefully scoring its first points along the way.
“We're Williams – we wouldn't stop developing a car mid-way through the season,” deputy team principal Claire Williams confirmed at the Hungaroring, “Pat will divide his time between trying to make improvements to this year's car, but then working on the 2014 car as well.”
Now free of the ban resulting from the 'crashgate' saga of 2008-09, which prevented him from holding a permanent position in the top flight, Symonds will hope to bring some of the success he enjoyed at Benetton and Renault – where his cars produced 32 wins and four world titles for Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso – to Grove.
Williams, however, insists that the team will not be putting all of its hopes on Symonds' shoulders, with further appointments to follow before the end of the year.
“I think it's been obvious to everybody that the performance of the team hasn't been where we wanted,” she admitted, “At the end of 2012, we thought we'd made a step forward with our performance [but] clearly, when we came to Australia this year, that wasn't the case. In order to move forward and to get to where we want to be, we needed to make changes on the technical side of the business. We needed to make those changes and, obviously, Pat coming on board as our new chief technical officer is part of that step. But it's only the first of a number of good news announcements we'll be announcing in the near term....”