Williams signs Demaison

Williams Racing has appointed François-Xavier Demaison as its new Technical Director. He will take overall responsibility for the technical operation of the team including the design and aerodynamic functions, reporting to CEO, Jost Capito.

After studying at two of France’s most famous engineering schools, the École Supérieure des Techniques Aéronautiques et de Construction Automobile (ESTACA) and then École Nationale Supérieure du Pétrole et des Moteurs (now known as IFP), he was recruited by Renault and went to work in the UK, initially at Swindon and then in the Renault UK headquarters in Rickmansworth. He then decided to return to France and joined Peugeot Sport, working on the F1 engine programme at Velizy Villacoublay. He moved from there to the World Rally Championship programme and in 2006 was taken on by Prodive to be chief rally engineer for Subaru in the WRC but in 2008 was back in France, working with Citroen in the WRC.

He was named technical director of Petter Solberg World Rally Team in 2010 and stayed for a year before taken on by Volkswagen as project manager for the Volkswagen Polo WRC programme. he then became technical director of VW Motorsport in 2016 but with the closure of the division last year he was on the market and Capito, who used to head VW Motorsport snapped him up for Williams.

François-Xavier has spent the last few years overseeing the technical development of the ground-breaking ID.R electric race car, that achieved multiple records at Pikes Peak and around the old Nurburgring.

“We are delighted to welcome FX to the team,” says Capito. “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.”

14 thoughts on “Williams signs Demaison

  1. Looking good at Williams. There seems to be more positive outlook now for the team. Finances are now stable and improving with substantial investment in the engineering and personnel. They’ll be back stronger next year and in the top four the year after.

    1. Stable finances? Tell me that when they have some sponsorship on the car? Initial cash influx buy the new buyer was nesessary to keep the boat afloat. New technical blood is essential, but the future spend is what will get them better. Annd the budget caps will certainly help.

      Nothing would make me happier than to see tham back at the front, but I’ve been misled in the past. Ill take await and see position.

  2. It is interesting that there have been two recruitments, for high power, technical positions from outside open wheeled racing. A TP that ran a motorcycle team and a rally specialist into head the aero department. A little unusual, in my recollections.

    1. IIRC Honda brought someone from their bike racing operation to be head of aero at Brackley, maybe about 2007. Don’t recall it working out too well.

      OT but Honda related – Joe, any insight into whether it’s true as claimed that the two Red Bull teams are racing this year with *next year’s* Honda engine, which Honda ‘decided to use this year instead as they were leaving’? My gast is well and truly flabbered. As in, if it’s more powerful, adequately reliable, and ready to race, why weren’t they going to do that anyway?

  3. Williams making a beeline to get ahead of Red Bull and Sauber to get the VW deal!

    Great to see sensible people making sensible decisions for the team. Have a lot of respect for Claire but she was out of her depth. The wrong Williams child took charge!

  4. A love letter to a possible future suitor?

    This time next week, we will known if real value has been added to this extravagant purchase

  5. that’s a good move by Capito to get in outside Genius – teasing around to fish permanent F1 staff is like the same tenant moving another house like – phew, it’s just another stop gap with whoever offers better rent. All in all i think in general F1 is a bit stagnant regarding bringing in a fresh staff and recent moves by Alpine and Williams is the way to go to bring in a fresh air(look)(aproach)(view)(thinking)(etc)

  6. How many more outside signings will it take to move the Williams’ culture to match the other teams? At least Jost Capito won’t have to fight FW to make the necessary changes.

  7. Good Morning Joe, May I say how much I enjoy your articles, I have been wondering whether the appointment of FX Demaison and also Jost Capito are an advanced recce by VW while they way up whether they will enter FI in 2025, and what are your thoughts on this? Best wishes to you for the new season. Peter Farley.

    Sent from my iPad


  8. While I like the idea it could be a long term VW move it could also be due to a lot of ex VW people being available after they stopped their motorsport activity.
    Prefer the former. F1 should me much easier to do from next year.
    Formula E has been shown to be a bit of a dud as city centres are now deserted and off limits.
    F1 it is then with its own toys and tracks to play on.

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