Formula One: Capito steps down as Williams F1 team principal

Jost Capito was appointed chief executive of the Mercedes-powered team in December 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON - Williams Formula One team principal and chief executive Jost Capito is stepping aside after two years in charge and technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison is also leaving, the former champions said on Monday.

British-based Williams said in a statement that they would announce replacements in due course.

“We would like to thank Jost for his hard work and dedication as we embarked on a major transformation process to begin the journey of reviving Williams Racing,” said Matthew Savage, chairman of owners Dorilton Capital.

“We’re grateful that Jost postponed his planned retirement to take on this challenge and now he will pass the reins on for the next part of this staged process.

“We would also like to thank FX (Demaison) for his contribution and wish him all the best for his future as he moves on.”

US-based private investment firm Dorilton bought struggling Williams, the third most successful constructor in Formula One history with 114 wins and 16 titles, from the founding family in August 2020.

The team have not won a race since 2012 and their last drivers’ championship was with Canadian Jacques Villeneuve in 1997.

Williams finished last in this year’s constructors’ championship.

“It has been a huge privilege to lead Williams Racing for the last two seasons and to lay the foundations for the turnaround of this great team,” said Capito, a former McLaren chief executive.

“I look forward to watching the team as it continues on its path to future success.”

Capito, 64, was appointed chief executive of the Mercedes-powered team in December 2020 and took on the role of principal in June 2021 when Simon Roberts departed.

Frenchman Demaison was appointed in March 2021. He and German Capito had previously worked together at Volkswagen Motorsport.

Capito’s departure means two of Formula One’s 10 teams will have new bosses next season, with Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto resigning last month and yet to be replaced.

Swiss-based Sauber, who run the Alfa Romeo team, could also be under new leadership with current principal Frederic Vasseur considered a favourite to take over from Binotto at Ferrari. REUTERS

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