Williams F1 Team has announced the signing of ex-Volkswagen rally designer François-Xavier Demaison as its new technical director.

Demaison is recently-appointed Williams CEO Jost Capito’s first high profile signing since taking charge earlier this year.

The pair worked together during their time at Volkswagen and he fills the role vacated by Paddy Lowe, who left Williams in 2019.

Demaison, also known as ‘FX’, designed Volkswagen’s Polo R WRC, resulting in domination of the World Rally Championship from 2013 to 2016.

Also during his time with Volkswagen, he was responsible for the design of the radical ID.R electric car, which claimed record lap times at Pikes Peak and the Nurburgring.

Williams has already announced it will run Mercedes gearboxes from 2022 as it looks to make its way back up the F1 grid.

Speaking of the announcement, Capito said: “We are delighted to welcome FX to the team. I have seen his technical capabilities first-hand, and his sporting successes speak for themselves. Bringing in someone of his calibre to our already experienced technical team will help drive the future direction of our operation and strengthen our team.

“I have no doubt that his knowledge will contribute to us taking another important step towards our ambitions of winning again. At Williams we have an exciting challenge ahead of us, and I look forward to seeing FX contribute as we continue on this journey.”

Demaison added: “I am really looking forward to joining Williams Racing, as they begin an exciting journey to turn their performance around. It’s going to be a great challenge, but one that I am eager to start.

“They have a great team of talented people, and I hope I can work with them and the senior management team to help carve out a direction for the future, to help the team achieve its ambitions.”