New Williams chief technical officer Pat Fry wants the team to be breaking into the fight for podiums at the front of the field “in two, three, four years’ time” as he targets the organization becoming a championship contender.

Fry (pictured above) was brought in by team principal James Vowles last year and started work towards the end of the 2023 season, having had extensive experience at McLaren, Ferrari and Renault/Alpine. He joins a Williams team that finished seventh in the constructors’ standings and is investing in its facilities after years of struggling for resources prior to Dorilton Capital’s takeover, and he says it’s an exciting time to work at Grove that comes with ambitious targets.

“It is a team that’s moving forward,” Fry said. “There’s no point hiding behind the fact we’ve got a mountain of work to do and things to develop. But I think people will see that there’s a commitment there, and that commitment has to start right from the very top, which we have. And people will see us moving forward.

“The ultimate goal in the end is to be a sort of championship competitor. I mean in two, three, four years’ time, we need to be getting in the fight breaking into the top three. It’s a tough ask to do when your building from where we are, but I think it’s all possible.”

While focusing on fighting for titles seems a long way off given where Williams currently is, Fry says it’s something that’s been drilled into him as a result of the team’s he’s been a part of in the past.

“I guess having worked with Ron , and second is the first or the losers. And having worked at Ferrari for five years where you celebrate winning, but nothing else, I’m kind of tainted in that way. So we need to build a sp ace back to be a winning team.”

If the two-year target might seem particularly ambitious, it coincides with a change of technical regulations that Fry says offers the chance for the entire pecking order to be shaken up, even if the current Williams infrastructure still leaves it at a disadvantage.

“Rule changes are always an opportunity. To some degree, the bigger teams have always got better tools to start analyzing these things than we have, so we’ve got to be building and developing the tools that we need to actually try and work out what more specification that car should be.

“So I mean, we have got a lot of work on, but it’s certainly that first game-changing opportunity for us. So we need to be working to that as hard as we can.”