After previously working with new Williams CEO Jost Capito, Volkswagen’s Francois-Xavier Demaison, also known as FX, has joined Williams as a technical director, replacing Paddy Lowe who left the team in June 2019.
His start date is yet to be confirmed but he will be looking over the technical operations of the team which include design and aerodynamic functions.
William CEO Jost Capito said, “We are delighted to welcome FX to the team. I have seen his technical capabilities first-hand, and his sporting successes speak for themselves.
“Bringing in someone of his calibre to our already experienced technical team will help drive the future direction of our operation and strengthen our team.
“I have no doubt that his knowledge will contribute to us taking another important step towards our ambitions of winning again.
“At Williams, we have an exciting challenge ahead of us, and I look forward to seeing FX contribute as we continue on this journey.”
Demaison had previously worked with Peugeot in Formula One as he contributed to the engine programme and also worked in Touring Cars.
His portfolio also includes works in Rally Racing in which he was the Chief Engineer for Subaru’s World Rally Team Squad. He also was responsible for the Volkswagen Polo R WRC team that won four consecutive titles in the World Rally Championship since 2013.
FX looks forward to taking on this position with Williams Racing “as they begin an exciting journey to turn their performance around.
“It’s going to be a great challenge, but one that I am eager to start. They have a great team of talented people, and I hope I can work with them and the senior management team to help carve out a direction for the future, to help the team achieve its ambitions.”
Elsewhere in Formula One, George Russell has been appointed as one of the directors of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), taking Romain Grosjean’s place after he left the Formula One scene and joined the Indy Car Series in the USA.
The GPDA represents all Formula One drivers in raising concerns regarding safety and other issues such as the implementation of the ‘halo’. Alongside Russell, Alexander Wurz stands as Chairman of the organisation and Aston Martin racing driver Sebastian Vettel holds the position of a director.
Russell said, “I appreciate the support of my fellow drivers in entrusting this role to me and recognize the responsibility it entails.
“In its six decades in existence, the GPDA has been an integral part of supporting and shaping F1 safety, for the sport and our fans.
“I am looking forward to tackling the new challenges and opportunities alongside Anastasia, Sebastian and Alex.”
Despite his departure from Formula One, Grosjean will remain as an advisor for the GPDA “to finish his ongoing work on safety and the lessons learned from his accident.”
The Franco-Swiss driver suffered a terrible accident during the 2020 Bahrain GP, as he crashed into the barriers and had his car caught on fire. The previously controversial ‘halo’ which was implemented in Formula One with the help of the GPDA, had help save his life from the 56G force crash.
The GPDA has also appointed its first non-driver appointment as fourth director, Anastasia Fowle. Throughout the years, Fowle has been helping the GPDA as a legal advisor.
Author: Catherine Micallef