Williams is in a tooth and nail fight with Force India in the constructors’ championship and it’s perhaps no mystery they haven’t performed as well as they would have hoped in 2016. To those ends, they’ve added a new person to its engineering department in an effort to bolster performance for the remainder of the 2016 Championship and onwards. Here is Williams F!’s description of the new hire and his roles:
Antonio Spagnolo, former Head of Tyre Performance Group with Ferrari, has joined the Williams Operations Group this week as Competitor Analysis and Performance Concept Team Leader.
In this role, which is focussed on augmenting car performance, Antonio will concentrate on understanding our competitors’ strengths and identifying areas of our performance which require prioritisation of resources. Naturally, in view of his previous role at Ferrari, his considerable experience will be brought to bear in guiding our restructured Tyre Performance Group to better understand and exploit both theoretical and practical aspects of tyre performance.
Joining Williams with a wealth of operational and performance experience, Antonio has held various roles with Ferrari, including Race and Performance Engineer to Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso respectively. Antonio has been with Ferrari since 2005, during which time it has won two Constructors’ titles, in 2007 and ’08, and the ’07 Drivers’ title with Räikkönen.
Pat Symonds, Williams Chief Technical Officer, said;
“Williams is determined to continue the positive momentum it has had since 2014 and, with new additions to the team, hopes to become even stronger. We are constantly seeing ways to improve our performance and trackside operations and believe Antonio will make a valuable contribution to this process. As a team, we will do our utmost to achieve our on-track ambitions and secure strong positions in the Constructors’ Championship this season, and beyond.”
It’s a role that the team feel they need and if you’ve followed F1 for any amount of time, you’ll know that Silly Season doesn’t just pertain to the drivers, when key engineering people reach the end of their contracts, there is potential for movement. The right move can mean big gains and other times, it doesn’t pan out the way the team had hoped.
Regardless, Williams is keen to stave off the late-season charge of Force India who are currently in the rumor mill about a potential sale of the team but I’ve seen nothing official on that front and the team have said the rumor is rubbish. The rumor was that Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim, may have bought the team but again, Force India has said that isn’t the case.