Monday, April 15, 2024

Pat Fry’s Appointment a sign of Williams’ Desire for ‘Culture of Change’ – James Vowles

James Vowles says the arrival of Pat Fry as the new Chief Technical Officer at Williams Racing indicates that the team are aiming for a cultural change as they bid to improve their status within the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Fry opted to depart the BWT Alpine F1 Team ahead of the summer break to take up his new post at Williams, and Vowles, the Team Principal of the Grove-based team, says his arrival, as well as his own pre-season, should open the eyes of other people who may wish to join the programme and help the team move forward.

“I hope that for a start, when people saw that I left the comfort of Mercedes to go to Williams and now people have seen Pat, at a time where Alpine was in a strong place, people will now understand that Williams wants a culture of change,” Vowles is quoted as saying by

“So, it’s not specifically that. It’s more that once you see two very senior people that have been in the sport for 20 plus years and winning races and we want to come here, others will now see why it’s worth that journey.”

“That’s why I wanted it to be clear this wasn’t in the last few weeks. This was a long time ago wanting to join Williams.”

Vowles revealed that talks with Fry began before he was confirmed as Team Principal of Williams, and he was one individual he highlighted that he wanted as part of his technical team, feeling he is an ‘exceptional’ talent that can help a team ‘pull their sleeves up’.

Fry will begin his time with Williams after his gardening leave ends in November, but Vowles is insistent that he will be a key member of the team going forward.

“The first times I spoke to Pat was actually back in January before I’d officially started with Williams,” added Vowles. “Just to make it clear, he was the one I’d highlighted that I really wanted to be within Williams.

“He’s exceptional at coming into organisations when you need someone to pull their sleeves up and properly get stuck into structure and systems.

“There’s different types of CTOs available to you. There are ones that are very good at finding your last 10 milliseconds. There are ones that are very good at putting structures and systems in place, and he’s more the latter.

“He understandably had a journey with Alpine that he wanted to continue. But actually, by April he could see the vision as to why I had joined Williams and was very much in line and on board with that.”

Fry says he is delighted to be joining Williams, with the team the latest Formula 1 outfit that he has been a part of during his lengthy career within the sport.

He has worked for the McLaren F1 Team and Scuderia Ferrari, as well as Manor Racing, before moving to Alpine in 2020, where he was most recently working as their Chief Technical Officer.

“I am thrilled to be joining Williams Racing as Chief Technical Officer,” said Fry.  “The team has a rich heritage in Formula 1, and I am excited to contribute to its future success.

“I believe in the team’s potential and, together, we will strive for excellence on and off the track.”