Reading Autosport’s recent article about Williams, Robert Kubica and Paddy Lowe, I was looking for clues as to what the return of Patrick Head’s consultancy might bring to the team.
The article is written with the defense of Paddy in mind with words to support that notion by Kubica.
“It is a complex sport, and [it] requires a lot of group work,” continued Kubica.
“It’s never a single guy who can make it wrong or make it good.
“If last year for example we would be fighting for top positions, probably your question would be ‘how does Paddy make it work perfectly?’.
“But it’s never one person. Of course a person can influence, that’s why I think Patrick [Head] can help us in current situation, and definitely people can make the difference.
“In the end it’s a lot of people involved in making of running the team and making team being successful of not.”
His defense of Paddy seems to be a bit of a nod to Claire and management as well as groups of developers, engineers or designers who all combine to create a difficult situation but still, the first quote seems to imply it is more than just one person but it does slightly have a vibe of pointing upward to me at least.
On the other hand, there were some comments from F1 fans that I recall reading who weren’t convinced of Lowes credentials and said that inheriting Brawn’s Mercedes was more Brawn than anything Paddy did. I think that harsh but I do wonder if there is a kernel of reality there given Williams F1’s struggles. However, I am more inclined, like Robert, to suggest the issues are beyond just Paddy.
Head was a co-founder of Williams, still a stakeholder and returns to consult for the team. Head is, like Sir Frank, a racer and a no-nonsense type of guy. What does Robert think Patrick might provide? This is what I was keen to see. I have been suggesting a change at the top—not Paddy but higher—for three years now and when it was announced that Head might return, I reckoned it was to do the very heavy lifting of top management structure change.
“The job he can do, and good things he can bring to the team, are more than working with me,” said Kubica.
“We don’t know each other, but I have big respect from what he did in the past, and what he had achieved in his career.
“He has been a big player at Williams, a big factor in Williams history.
“These factors can only bring positive things to the team. But still it’s not a single-player sport.
“He can definitely help the team with his experience and his character, and definitely he is a racer, so its’ something what I think the team can benefit [from].”
I don’t know that I gain any insight about my hunches, conspiracy theories or ill-informed guesses but I still think it will take Head to convince Frank on what needs to be done. Not sure Paddy would have been able to do that.
The one thing we knew we would get with Robert was very frank, critical comments if the team wasn’t up to par and that’s what we’re getting. Unlike George, Robert’s horizons may not be a bright as the rookie’s and for those reasons, I would suggest Robert tone it down a bit and become more of a team player in order to weather the changes Head may initiate and remain in F1.
Hat Tip: Autosport