Paddy Lowe: Helping Williams recover my biggest challenge in F1
|By Oleg Karpov and Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, July 17th 2018, 15:46 GMT|
Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe believes he faces the biggest challenge of his Formula 1 career in trying to return the team to competitiveness.
After a lacklustre start to the campaign, Williams is last in the constructors' championship and has struggled to find answers for the aerodynamic problems that have plagued its 2018 car.
Lowe joined Williams at the start of 2017 after a title-winning spell at Mercedes, and previously enjoyed successful spells at Williams and McLaren.
When asked if his current situation was potentially the biggest challenge he had faced, Lowe said: "In many aspects yes.
"There have been some other challenges I faced on different occasions, but this is a new challenge for me anyway.
"I've been fortunate in my career not to work in a team that wasn't within reach of the front, performance-wise. That is where we were always playing, in the top 10 and towards the front of the top 10 or at the very front end.
"It is a new experience for me to work in a team which has a lot of work to do to get back to where we want to be.
"So that creates some new challenges for me personally, and I am learning all the time. Some things you get right, some things, if I had my last year again, I would do differently. But that is the nature of life.
"You face challenges and you learn from them and hope that builds your experience to do a better job next time."
Lowe said he was motivated by the potential progress Williams can make.
"The more we get into understanding where we are, and why, and what is not working, the more positive that makes me feel about the progress we can make," he said.
"We've got a great team, you know. There are some great creative people back at Grove.
"And I think if we can work in the right direction, which we are now turning round to do, we can make some really good progress."
Top of Williams's priority to sort out is an aerodynamic stall that affects the FW41 on turn in, which led to Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin both going off in qualifying at Silverstone.
The scale of its problems has also left Williams pondering whether trying to rectify issues with its 2018 car is worth the effort or if it should instead switch focus early to its '19 car.
"As we get to this point of the year, which is common with all teams, the focus goes very much more on the current car towards pieces and developments which are also relevant into next year," said Lowe about Williams's development plans.
"We are definitely moving into that mode now with this car, which should be common with the other teams.
"Although the rules are changing for next year quite significantly, there are still many aspects of the car for which the development and the learning on this car will still carry across."