Williams Racing ready to begin new era with Simon Roberts at the helm

The Williams Racing team, partnered by Acronis, has barely had time to say an emotional goodbye to Claire Williams in Monza, than it prepares to go racing again in the beautiful setting of Tuscany.

Of course, things will be a little different in that Simon Roberts takes over Claireโ€™s role as Acting Team Principal during this transitional time period. On the face of it, it is business as usual with Simon no stranger to the operational side, having joined the team earlier this year as Managing Director of Formula One, where he has responsibility for the F1 Technical, Operations and Planning functions.

โ€œI am delighted to be announced as Acting Team Principal for Williams during this transitional period,โ€ commented Roberts. โ€œIt is an exciting time ahead for the team, a new era for Williams and one that I am excited to be playing a part in. I look forward to the challenge ahead as we look to take the team back to the front of the grid.โ€

The first job, other than unloading all of the trucks and equipment at the new Mugello circuit, will be to get acquainted to a brand new circuit on the F1 calendar in the form of Moto GP favourite Mugello, which shares some similar characteristics with Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring.

โ€œI am really excited to drive at Mugello,โ€ commented driver George Russell. โ€œI drove there six years ago, and it was one the best tracks I have ever driven. It will be incredibly physical for all of the drivers out there with the extremely high speeds. This circuit should suit us more than the last two so I will be going there and giving it my all and hope for a good weekend.โ€

Teammate Nicholas Latifi, who finished only a place out of the points at Monza on Sunday, is equally excited to take to the Mugello track although, like Russell, he has previous experience at the circuit.

โ€œMugello is going to be a new experience for Formula One, and one that we would not have been going to under normal circumstances,โ€ added Latifi. โ€œLast time I was here was in 2014 for a test day, prior to that I raced there in my first year in 2012 so it has been a while. I think it is going to be a very intense track for these current F1 cars, as it is very high speed and a real neck killer.

โ€œI am looking forward to the challenge as it is always nice to drive on new tracks, or ones that we havenโ€™t been to in a while. It will be a fresh challenge and we will be pushing to keep up with the improvements that we have been making all year.”

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.

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