‘Huge opportunity’ at Williams stopped me retiring, reveals team's new CEO Jost Capito
New Williams boss Jost Capito has revealed he was considering retirement after a long career in motorsport, before the “huge opportunity” of taking charge of one of F1's most iconic teams persuaded him to delay those plans and instead get stuck into a new challenge.
Former Volkswagen rally chief Capito – who also had a short spell at McLaren in 2016 – was announced as Williams’ new CEO in December 2020 as new owners Dorilton Capital carried out a restructuring of the team’s management, following the departure of founder Sir Frank Williams and Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams.
At the Williams FW43B livery launch on Friday, Capito spoke of his aspirations to get the team to the front of the grid again, but also revealed that he was on the verge of retiring before Dorilton came calling.
“We had a discussion before it was announced and I have full confidence – it was a chance – do I retire? What do I do?” recalled Capito.
“And when this [role] came up, I said to myself it’s more than a boy’s dream to run Williams. I am very competitive. Wherever I have been, I want to win. I know coming to Williams, [they are] not in position to win right now,” he added.
However, Capito also said on Friday that he expects the team to get back to the front of the grid, where they used to fight, regardless of a run of poor seasons including a point-less 2020 campaign.
“We know the results from recent years, and we know why it has happened,” he continued. “Now with new owners, they are really backing it up. That’s why I joined. It’s a huge opportunity working with new owners to get team back where it has been in the past and where I believe Williams belongs, and that is very close to my heart.”
Nicholas Latifi and George Russell take the wheel of the new FW43B at Bahrain for pre-season testing, which begins on March 12, ahead of the first Grand Prix of the season, also in Bahrain, two weeks later.