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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Frank Williams discusses F1

Sir Frank Williams is interviewed on and talks about pay drivers, making F1 work for the team, Adam Parr, and the future of the sport.  He's also confirmed what we all know; that his enthusiasm and love of the sport remains undiminished.

In respect of pay drivers he says:

It is very expensive to be in Formula One. The manufacturers have taken over - correct? So if you wish to participate you have to find the money. A little bit of this and a little bit of that - money that is honest. You have to make a budget that gives you the chance to truly compete and not just participate. And it might happen that you take on a driver who brings along some money. There is no shame in that whatsoever.

True statement, however if Williams were where they used to be, would they consider a pay driver? Probably, as long as he came with a racing pedigree! (my thoughts not Franks)

He was asked why he has retaken the top seat at the board of Williams - obviously the resignation of Adam Parr was the cause, however the interviewer did not ask why Adam Parr resigned.  Particularly important given the fact that Frank would appear to have enormous respect for him:

it is sad Adam Parr didn’t achieve what we would have liked together, after all that he did.

and in response to the question "what prompted this season's upward trend" he once again references Parr:

Adam Parr - to his credit - played a significant role in his all too short time with the team. I am very sad that he left as he is a terribly clever man who took on two or three key people, like Mike Coughlan for instance, and some key people in engineering, and that makes all the difference. We do see that.

The "We" in that final sentence is telling, meaning, I presume, the Williams Board, including, I suspect, those behind making Parr's position in the Team untenable.

On balding he has this to say:

there are 12 teams and each operates in different circumstances. We have several manufacturer teams. One of them is Ferrari, who seem to have a great deal of money and who are in effect subsidized. But that is fine - they are Ferrari. They are the core of Formula One and that is how it should be. That is fine with me. Take me, there are so many men in the paddock who have more hair than me and it has always p*ssed me off, but I live with it! (laughs) You learn to get on with it. 

Okay it's really about the Resource Restriction Agreement, but the comment on losing his hair is much more fun to highlight.  He is rightly against any interference by a third party in his ability to run his company and Team.  As he points out:

I don’t want any third-party interference with one’s business, to have people sneaking around wanting to check this and that. It’s just like waiting for the taxman every day.

However he appears to be a supporter of the new engines and green technologies, from the perspective of being at the cutting edge of development rather than as a racing supporter:

Formula One is a high-profile sport - a high-profile business - and many companies seem to worry about being associated with Formula One, as in the eyes of many uninformed people it is a wasteful activity. True, there will always be people who are against it for one reason or another, but if you ask manufacturers why they are in Formula One they will tell you it’s for publicity. At such an exposed level as Formula One is, we probably should pay some consideration to the fact people expect us to be at the edge of development. We have to go with the flow. 

I wonder if he's been talking to Honda, building a turbo 1.6 engine might just be enough of a draw to tempt them to re-enter the paddock as an engine supplier, and who better than Williams to revive the spirit of 1983-1987 using a 1.6 turbo rather than the previous Honda 1.5 V6 turbo which brought Williams two constructor's championships and their first driver's championship.

If you were sentimental, which Frank rarely appears to be, you could even bring back a Rosberg or, God forbid (he'd have to bring a LOT O'DOSH), sign a Piquet to sit in the car.  Karma, Kismet, Destiny...I feel the stars beginning to align...(okay enough tosh back to the Interview - self ed.)

He has a little sideways crack at Ferrari and their unnamed advertiser (I tried to be smart and show on rollover but couldn't).

But finished off with a class response to the question

Q: So you’re still a fan of the sport after all these years?
I love speed, I love noise, I love competition and if I wasn’t still a fan I wouldn’t be here.