Williams family should have sold F1 team sooner - Lowe

Paddy Lowe believes the Williams family should have sold the Formula 1 team sooner than it did to avoid the decline it has endured over the past few years.
Williams family should have sold F1 team sooner - Lowe

Lowe started his F1 career with Williams in 1987, before switching to McLaren for the 1993 season.

After successful periods at McLaren and Mercedes, Lowe returned to Williams in 2017 as chief technical officer.

The team continued to decline as it finished bottom of the 2018 F1 constructors' championship, compared to fifth in 2017.


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Lowe was placed on gardening leave early on in 2019 after the construction of its new car was delayed significantly, forcing Williams to miss the first two days of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Speaking on F1’s ‘Beyond the Grid’ podcast, Lowe was pleased Dorilton Capital had acquired ownership of the team last year.

"I was pleased because that’s what they’ve needed to do for a long time and to be honest, they should have done it earlier, for all sorts of reasons, which are not to do with any individuals,” Lowe said.

"The team has been in a very negative spiral from a funding point of view. While I was there I was watching that spiral progress further down the drain, and it’s actually quite distressing because you understand that there’s no good endpoint apart from ‘it’s failed’, so you might as well cut that now and move on before it’s all gone.

"I’m very happy that the team was sold for a reasonable price, and so that Claire and her brothers leave with something to work with from the great thing the family has achieved over the years.

"The name is kept. And they’ve got new investors who will have the cash to take it forward and turn that spiral in the other direction, which will be a long process and people that are patient will take it there.”

Lowe refused to shed too much light on his second spell with the Grove-based outfit, but admitted: “it was really hard work for no reward whatsoever”.

"It’s a period I don’t really like to dwell on to be honest because in all of that time in F1 I loved every single year and all for different reasons and in some ways it just got better and better,” Lowe added.

"Those two years at Williams I didn’t enjoy, to be honest. It was really hard work for no reward whatsoever. And yeah, I think, probably the less said the better to be honest. All I’d say is Formula 1 is an inpatient space, nothing is patient in F1.

"And yet, it’s an incredibly difficult competition. It’s arguably the most difficult competition on Earth, and that means if you miss a trick, and certainly, if you’re not doing the right things for a long period of time, you can’t expect overnight recoveries.

"It’s not a human point. I am good at a lot of things, and I think I’ve proven that in a number of areas, but I can’t work miracles, and certainly not miracles in respect of time.”

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