Williams-Cosworth ‘aim for top four in 2011’


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Mark Gallagher, Cosworth, 2010

Cosworth are ready to shake off their image as F1’s “underdog” engine manufacturer and win races again.

F1 business manager Mark Gallagher told F1 Fanatic: “Cosworth would win Grands Prix if it was in the back of a car that’s capable of winning”.

And he said the engine manufacturer were aiming for a top-four finish in the 2011 constructors’ championship with Williams. Read on for the first part of the interview.

F1 Fanatic: Would you agree it was a successful return to F1 for Cosworth in 2010 after three years away?

Mark Gallagher: It was a successful year for us. We had a number of operational objectives for this year which we’ve achieved. It was a very demanding reintroduction into Formula 1 as an engine supplier.

We hadn’t been away from F1 as a company because in Cosworth Electronics we’d continued to supply wind tunnel monitoring systems and of course vehicle electronics to teams in F1 all the way through the 2007-9 seasons.

But we had been out of engine supply. Coming back in, first of all we were going to come in supporting only the new teams under a different set of technical rules proposed as part of the cost-capping proposals the FIA had been working on in the early part of 2009.

Obviously that changed, after we had already signed up to supplying the teams, so we had to re-configure the engine to work to an entirely different set of rules. Namely, that the engine would have to have a much longer life; that it couldn’t produce peak power at 20,000 rpm it would have to do so at 18,000, or just under; and that fuel consumption was now critical because there was no refuelling.

We have a very strong engineering team under our technical director Bruce Wood. We have a guy who runs engine design, James Allen, and we have engine development under a guy called Dave Gudd and that triumvirate headed up the huge amount of work that needed to be done.

So I think the reintroduction of Cosworth as an engine supplier has gone well. We didn’t suffer a single failure in a race this year. In pre-season testing we expected we would have to do further work to optimise the engine because it had never run in a car. And so many of our new customers didn’t test – HRT did no testing, Virgin did limited testing, Lotus did some testing and pretty much all of it was in wet weather.

Only Williams did all of the testing and they were busy getting their car up to speed. It was only at the beginning of the season we began to learn where we were and optimise our performance.

But we made big strides and we look back on the year with a lot of satisfaction. It’s certainly been a very good foundation for us to build on in the next few years.

Cosworth CA2010 engine

F1F: What did the process of optimising and developing involve, given how tight the rules are?

MG: Obviously development is a closed area. But what you can do is work with the teams on, for example, the ‘aardvark’ – the air intake configuration you use to get air into the airbox. The airbox itself is a homologated item.

You can also play with exhaust systems and calibrate an engine to, for example, use a blown diffuser which we did with Williams very successfully.

The calibration of the engine – how it performs from circuit to circuit, how it responds to power demand from the driver, is an important area.

Again, with Williams we learned a lot because of the experience of Rubens Barrichello and that, allied to their resources and high expectations, meant that we learned a lot working with them. Obviously the new teams were on a very steep learning curve.

The only thing you can do in terms of optimising performance is if you spot a potential reliability problem, you can fix it – that’s allowed. If you see something that is going to compromise you, cost the teams a lot of money, or ultimately cause a failure, you can apply to the FIA. And it could be something as simple as a washer that isn’t doing the job that’s intended.

There’s a slight opportunity to exploit or explore the limits of what you’re permitted to do. The FIA keep a very tight rein on it. All the manufacturers can be sent the request that you have sent to the FIA so Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes will be sent a request from Cosworth and we will be sent a request from any of them. So it’s very tightly policed.

I think it’s actually one of the great successes of Formula 1 in recent years that gets overlooked. There’s a lot of talk about concerns over engine parity. The reality is the world championship is fought between three different engine suppliers: Red Bull-Renault, McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari. Three competitors in the battle and towards the end of the season we were qualifying Rubens sixth, seventh, eighth – Cosworth were there, we were in the top ten, getting into Q3.

In my view the regulations have worked terribly well. There’s not a lot to choose between the engines. While others have said “Oh, we don’t have the same power as the others, we should be allowed to re-tune”, though you may have less power, if you also have less fuel consumption, good drive-ability, good weight and an optimised package and – in Renault’s case – you go and win the world championships, then to be honest I think the situation as it stands is very acceptable.

F1F: Based on those measures you’ve described – performance, fuel consumption and so on – what do you think your engine’s strengths are?

MG: We have good power – obviously I’m not going to put a figure on it but we’re satisfied with where we are in the power stakes – we have good fuel economy and good fuel-saving modes, and we have extremely good reliability.

At the beginning of the year we were not satisfied with power degradation – the loss of power over time as the engine ages.

We also had a potential reliability problem and we had to nip that in the bud. A lot of work was done around the first four races to resolve what was a potentially serious issue for us. I’m pleased to say we reacted quickly, it didn’t compromise our teams, and that was good.

I would say that the issues we would have probably, on balance, had more discussion about internally were to do with initial drive-ability when the engine came out. We had to work on the mapping – obviously we can’t change the mechanical structure of the engine, it is as it is.

Drive-ability was one thing that Rubens, Jarno [Trulli] and Timo [Glock] – the more experienced drivers – gave us feedback on. We had to work on that with our teams.

Basically, our engine performs in a certain way so we have to work closely with the teams in order to know what gears they’re running, how the car’s performing, and optimise that.

It’s almost an unending task of trying to get the best out of it. You never hear a driver or a team say the engine’s perfect. Actually, you’ll never hear us say an engine’s perfect – there’s no such thing. Internal combustion engines are not that efficient so there’s always a bit more to come.

Can you produce more power? Of course you can. Does it use more fuel? Yes. Everybody wants more power with less fuel being used. It’s a constant battle.

But there’s good satisfaction here about where we’re at. I think there were a number of battles this year which were quite interesting in terms of our engine performance and power: Nico Rosberg got stuck behind Nico Hulkenberg in Barcelona and it was very evident that the Mercedes-Benz couldn’t get past the Williams-Cosworth on the straights.

Here at Cosworth we really picked up on that, there were some radio conversations between Rosberg and his engineer who was telling him: “You won’t get past him on the straights”. Given that the Mercedes-Benz is a pretty good engine it was nice for us to have that measure early on in the year.

The pole position in Brazil was very satisfying but it was down to the conditions. Nico obviously got heat into the tyres at the right time, it was a great strategy decision by Williams and it gave us a lift but no-one here and no-one at Williams believed it was anything other than a point in time where, in those conditions, that driver with tyres at the right temperature was able to get a lot more performance. It was really down to the strategy Williams employed and Nico’s very strong driving.

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Bahrain, 2010

F1F: You described the benefits of working with an experienced partner in the shape of Williams and Barrichello, was that something you began looking for after you signed up with the three new teams?

MG: It evolved, really. When I came to Cosworth in August 2009 the contract as that we had were with USF1, Campos and Virgin. A month later, in September, Lotus received their entry and suddenly we found ourselves with four teams.

Then in November Williams came along. Obviously things had changed with Toyota who were pulling out of Formula 1. They were looking at their options and could have gone in a number of different directions.

Sam Michael said at our staff event last week that Williams felt they had “unfinished business” with Cosworth. They knew that the 2006 engine had been a good one and although they hadn’t had the results that year that they wanted they realised that it was a combination of factors and not down to Cosworth doing a bad job with the engine.

Williams came back to the table saying “look, we feel we’ve got unfinished business, how about working together” And, obviously, from a Cosworth point of view, the opportunity to run with a benchmark team that wants to win again was very attractive. So we signed up with them.

So for a short period of time, from November until February, we were actually signed up with five teams. Then USF1 raised a white flag and we ended up with four. That was still more than the three we’d planned for.

Working with Williams was a great opportunity. They’re a terrifically competitive bunch of people. I’m lucky that I know Sam Michael, we worked together at Jordan in the late nineties. And Adam Parr, Patrick Head and Frank Williams have great determination to get back up to the front.

We’ve learned a lot from that and while finishing sixth in the constructors’ championship is not satisfactory for Williams-Cosworth, at least it is the top half of the championship, and our sights for next season are to be challenging for the top four again.

F1F: There was a clear upward trajectory through the season, the car was getting better, obviously they took sixth off Force India very late in the day.

MG: I think at the beginning of the year the overall package had been compromised: the package had changed from Toyota to Cosworth and there was very little pre-season testing. Rubens had just arrived and I think in the early races if you look back Williams-Cosworth was in among Sauber and Toro Rosso.

By Valencia we had made great strides and the package was getting quicker race by race. If you look at how close we were to the pole position time it came down and down.

In the races the performance was not quite where we wanted it to be. From Cosworth’s point of view the bit that we can influence is our engine. We have done and will continue to do everything that we can to optimise that and make sure the engine is installed in the chassis as efficiently as possible, answer questions from Sam ad the technical team and hopefully the Williams-Cosworth FW33 will be another step forward.

F1F: How do you see the package now compared to how it was at the start of testing?

MG: I think the package had gone from having some issues to having a lot of those addressed and really beginning to show a sufficient turn of speed to take on and beat Force India.

They have a good package, particularly the McLaren-Mercedes back end on the car, and Adrian Sutil is no slouch.

We’ve made headway and Williams have made headway and it’s fair to say that if you spend any time with the Williams team you see that’s there’s an enormous determination to get back up there. Frank and Patrick are pretty amazing characters to be around and obviously it’s been a while since they’ve won and they want to win again and obviously we want to win.

If we don’t win, we know that over time the impression will continue that Cosworth is somehow uncompetitive and the reality is that we’re not uncompetitive. We don’t have an uncompetitive product, we just need to have it in a car that performance as an overall package. Our contribution to that needs to be as good as possible.

Michael Schumacher, Benetton, TI Aida, 1994

F1F: In Cosworth’s recent history in Formula 1, since the sixties and seventies, you have often been seen as the under-rated underdog that occasionally pulls off surprise performances.

MG: Yeah, I think a lot of people are still surprised to recall that Michael Schumacher won his first world championship with a Ford-Cosworth engine at Benetton. I think Ford probably managed to underwhelmingly promote that. Everybody seems to think that Michael won two world championships with Benetton-Renault!

If I look back to my first season at Jordan in 1991, we came in and finished fifth in the world championship out of 17 teams at its first attempt. Using Cosworth customer engines we very nearly won the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa with Andrea de Cesaris.

Cosworth has been producing competitive engines for a long time. If you look at Ayrton Senna’s season with the Cosworth engine in the McLaren, everyone remembers his win at Donington, which was with one of our engines.

You don’t have to go back that far to see Cosworth producing competitive engines and from what I’ve seen in my 16 months here, we still produce competitive engines. The difficulty is, our engines are not often in the back of competitive cars.

The fact is that, at the turn of the last decade, the world of Formula 1 fell in love with car manufacturers who would write very large cheques and sponsor teams. That left no room for Cosworth, Cosworth was owned by Ford who, having invested in Stewart and morphed that into Jaguar, didn’t have a team in Milton Keynes who were producing a car that was capable of winning Grands Prix.

The Ford-Cosworth element of its involvement in Formula 1 was compromised and if you look at what Adrian Newey and Christian Horner have achieved at that team since Red Bull took it over it just goes to show that with better management, better technical direction, better investment in the areas that matter, that team turned around.

So, if you want a blunt statement, Cosworth would win Grands Prix if it was in the back of a car that’s capable of winning, and I’m confident about that.

Is that a criticism of the teams we’re working with? Absolutely not. It’s just a recognition that the overall package has to deliver. I’m not arrogant about it, we know that our engine can always be optimised, but I think Cosworth’s image in the last 20 years, as you said, often has been seen as the underdog manufacturer.

I think that’s unfair. When I read some of the postings on the internet of what fans have to say it’s irritating because people just aren’t looking at the fact. There are some media who just don’t actually come and find out the facts. I can take a journalist to our dyno and show them the power our engine is producing and be absolutely confident that what we’re doing as a company is a good job.

But Formula 1 is a very competitive arena and you need to have the whole package delivering. But in a season where I think Ferrari lost six engines and we’ve lost none, we’re pretty sure we’re doing a good job.

F1F: Obviously you’re losing one team next year with Lotus moving to Renault power. Does that create a vacancy for you to ally with a team that’s closer to the front?

MG: Not in 2011 and 2012, for the balance of the current engines. I don’t think anyone will change engines going into the last season with the V8s.

We always planned that this return to Formula 1 as an engine supplier would involve three teams. That’s what the optimum plan was.

Having three teams for next year and 2012 is where we expected to be at. I always took the view that 2010 was slightly an anomaly because we were supplying a third of the grid.

And again, I think the fact we were supplying so many – none of the car manufacturers were – gave us a massive job to do. If we’d got it wrong, and there’d been pistons and cranks all over the track at the start of the season, it would have affected a third of the grid, not one or two teams, so we had a huge obligation not only to our teams but also to Formula 1 to get it right. From that point of view we did a good job.

For 2011 and 2012 with Williams, Virgin and HRT our intention is to get as much as we can out of the product and give those teams the best support we can.

In the second part of this interview, which will be on F1 Fanatic tomorrow, Mark talks about the radical new engine regulations for 2013.

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Images © Cosworth, Ford.com

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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69 comments on “Williams-Cosworth ‘aim for top four in 2011’”

  1. Top 4 lol, I’d place a substantial bet, before a car has been seen, a wheel turned and a session started that Williams will either fight for sixth or get it comfortably. But for fourth? Look at the current top 5, who out of that crowd can Williams beat?

    1. They could beat Renualt at a push, but the other 4 will be tough,

      1. Hey, you’ve got to aim high.

      2. But even if Williams built an identical car to Renault, I’d still back Kubica and Petrov over Barrichello and Maldonado.

        1. That’s a lot of faith in Petrov.

          1. Indeed. Barrichello’s still got it though. His pass on Schumacher still has me in disbelief. That said, he’s not the match of Kubica, and Petrov and Maldonado – is there really much to choose between them? I guess we’ll find out.

          2. Petrov is not a dull driver and may surprise if he improve consistency.

          3. Nice first few corners. Seems he gets it on edge, sometimes (like here) it works out, sometimes it didn’t work out (Japan).

            I agree that Williams will have a tough job getting into the fight for 4th (between Renault and Mercedes?) as their driver pair will be a bit of a disadvantage, regardless of the car they built.

          4. Barrichello managed to mix it with Button after a bit of bad luck at the beginning of the season at Brawn. Button showed he’s not too far off Hamilton. Kubica and Hiedfeld weren’t too badly matched at BMW. I’m not convinced Kubica as a better driver than Barrichello is a lay down mazaire.

    2. There is no reason that Williams can’t be in the top 4. They have history, and if Honda / Brawn / Mercedes GP was able to go from 9th to 1st, and back to 4th in a three year period, I see no reason why Williams being in the top 4 in 2011 is not obtainable, assuming they get their car right.

      1. Honda / Brawn / Mercedes GP was able to go from 9th to 1st, and back to 4th in a three year period

        That was, however, due to the introduction of a completely new set of regulations. I expect there could be some massive shake ups like that in 2013, but I doubt there will be in 2011 or 2012. With the current regs it’s all about incremental steps forward. I’d be delighted though if Williams could somehow make a giant leap forward.

      2. Williams didn’t have Honda’s budget. Brawn had a car built with Honda’s budget. Mercedes has Brawn, Rosberg and Schumacher and their own loads of money. I know it’s hard to articulate, but Williams is out of it. They can barely take the fight to the Renault, who on the other hand have the momentum and seem to be going up the ranks rather than down. Do the math and you’ll come up with the conclusion that there’s no place for Williams in the top 5.

        1. Wow, aren’t you a pessimist. You’ve made up your mind that its impossible therefore it is.
          Its a seriously ambitious target yes, but certainly not out of the question. At the end of this year the williams was not far off the renault or the mercedes. Whilst I’m expecting mercedes to have made a big leap this year, I’m not expecting quite so much from renault, but it’ll still be difficult for williams to beat them.

          But to say that williams has “no place in the top 5” is just unfair.

    3. They may beat Mercedes.If Mercedes carry their current form.:(

      1. Don’t think they will though.

    4. jimscreechy (@)
      30th December 2010, 5:36

      Every year is a new begining. As any gambler knows, you can’t use past occorances to determine future outcomes. If I’m not mistaken Williams were wcc previously, Red Bull two years ago were fighting with Williams. At any rate until the season starts we have no way of knowing who will produce the Starship Enterprise of 2011. I remember that dog of a MP4-24 Mclaren produces that was being beaten by scooters, skateboards, and Robin Reliants a couple of years ago. I have no doubt Williams will be back with the big boys at some stage, it may just be the coming season.

      1. Look at Ferrari that, in 2005, after dominating the entire 2004 season, won only one race when there were only 6 competitors.

    5. I suppose people said exactly the same about Mercedes in 2008, which then went on to win the WDC. :>)

      1. So basically, what we seem to agree on is, one of the top 5 will have to seriously mess up for Williams to beat one of them.

        Renault, the closest in the table to Williams in the table, was much closer to the top 4 than Williams was to them. They easily outpaced them over the season, Williams only started to catch up once Renault stalled development to concentrate on 2011. Remember also that while Williams may have been compromised by a late-ish engine switch, Renault where compromised by the upheaval in their ownership, to the point that when we first saw there car, loads of us on these forums thought it was possibly last years cars with new wings.

        This year however, the Enstone team has bagged a massive new multi-year sponser, while Williams has lost two large sponsers, had to drop a very talented young lad who gained them their first pole in yonks, for a pay driver who Hulkenburg soundly thrashed the previous year.

        If anything Renault + Mercedes will only be stronger next year. Williams probably can’t make such a step. Redbull, Ferrari and McLaren, well there already near the top. The gap between them might change in relation to each other and possibly to Renault and Merc, but again, to Williams? They’ll have to mess up, don’t think Williams will leap frog any of them.

        1. Absolutely agree.

    6. Nah, they can EASILY be in the top 4… engine manufacturers! ;)

    7. There gonna get nowhere near the top 4 with an unimpressive rookie. If Force India get Sutil and Hulkenberg, they’ll only reach 7th.

      1. Still more likley to come down to the cars. Think next year we might have a clearer seperation between the top and more midfeild teams. Force India and Williams both seem to be about to take a step back, with Merc and Renault going forward. Sauber might go forward, but they’ve got no experiance in the cars.

        Torro Rosso will probably stagnate, an Virgin and Lotus might join them as occasional point snatchers.

        1. I think you’re probably right. Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, and possibly Renault fighting at the front. Force India, Williams, and Sauber as the solid middle. Torro Rosso lagging, with Lotus and Virgin nipping at their heals, and HRT somewhere in orbit around the moon. The one big wildcard (much more so than Williams) will be Lotus I think. With their new package and far more time to develop a car than they did for this year, they’re the one team I feel has the potential to make a big leap forward, possibly putting them ahead of Torro Rosso and in there fighting with the midfield cars.

          1. I expect Torro Rosso to be right between the Virgins/Lotus cars and HRT, as they lack design people and their drivers are not that special.
            Remember Virgin now has no more fuel tank issue, they have all the data to make their CFD kit work to the full potential and Glock is a good driver.
            Lotus have their backend with high potential, a lot more time and a very solid technical department with great driver pairing, although they might have some reliability issues with a lot of new parts.
            If Force India gets the drivers right, they have a chance to stay solid mid field along with Sauber, who have good drivers and should pick up the pace from the start next year.
            Williams does have a chance to be at the front of the midfield and get close to the top, but it will have to do a lot better chassis (Barricello input?), hope Maldonado has enough experience to be quick and consistent early in the season and keep up the development race. Surely Renault will not be worse than last year, now they have their 2nd driver with some experience and know how to use their tools from the start. And Mercedes would have to really mess up for them to be further off the pace than this year. Especially as Schumi should be a lot better, and the development will be done all year.
            I do not expect Red Bull to suddenly drop bakc a lot, Ferrari will only get stronger (if they don’t panic over the winter) and McLaren will probably learn from their deficiencies as well.

          2. Yeah, I don’t expect a lot of backward movement from any of the teams, but in F1 if you’re standing still you’re moving backwards as everyone else develops and moves forward… Torro Rosso are the two that will probably suffer in that regard, and maybe Force India if they continue the trend they were on the second half of 2010.

          3. While I don’t expect any major changes between the top teams one thing which could make a big impact is the Pirelli tyres. The main reason usually given for Renault’s loss of form from 2006 and 2007 is the change from Michelins to Bridgestones and that they didn’t adapt as well as other teams.

    8. “Anything can happen in formula one and it usually does.”

      If I placed bets, I wouldn’t put Williams in the top four, just because of budget sizes. But as the Murry quote implies, you never quite know with F1.

  2. It would take a huge effort from the team, but unfortunately I am with Scribe – I can’t see it happening.

    Mclaren, Ferrari, and Redbull budgets are too big to compete with, and Mercedes have spent over half a year with full development facilities behind their 2011 challanger, that will be the top 4 for sure. Renault will run the top 4 close, and there will be an almighty fight between three evenly matched teams of Force India, Sauber and Williams for 6,7 and 8th position.

    Redbull have the biggest budget and there was a quote from Mosely going about that they overspent last year, something about a rule where you had a certain limit that each team was allowed to spend and then RBR went past this figure?

    1. and since when does anyone pay any attention to what Max Mosley has to say?

      1. Ha, true enough – I just thought it was strange that there is actually a budget cap in F1 but it’s never been mentioned – how much is it – must be over £250m!!

        1. It’s called the Resource Restriction Agreement. It caps the number of employees allowed.

  3. Williams could win both championships next year, or finish last, or finish fourth. Any team could, in theory. But why next year particularly? Well, the four black things that touch the ground….. that’s the talking point for 2011. ;)

    Nice interview, Keith. And Go Cozzie!

    1. Nice positive outlook. I look forward to HRT’s double world championship win.

      1. Yamamoto 2011 Drivers champion!

  4. In the second part of this interview Mark talks about the radical new engine regulations for 2013.

    hey, where is that? n_n

    1. Should have said, it’s on the site tomorrow.

  5. So … Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari will most likely be the top three teams of 2011. That means Williams will be competing with Renault and Mercedes for fourth place. They might be able to best Renault; Barrichello vs. Kubica will probably settle it, but Maldonado will have to out-do Petrov. The problem is Mercedes – can Rubens Barrichello beat Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher with (most likely) no back-up from Pastor Maldonado? I’m doubtful, and that’s before you factor in Williams’ abysmal run of consistent performances over the past few years into the equation. Ever since the beginning of 2005, they’ve been bounding between the front and the back of the grid. 2005 saw a good car, but 2006 was an engine-breaker. 2007 saw them take fourth in the WCC, but 2008 was another shocker that saw them finish eighth. And 2009 was somewhere in the middle, with seventh place overall, but with eight-straight points finishes for Nico Rosberg and just one and a half points behind Toyota. 2010 was the first time they’ve actually had a stable season; while the FW32 hardly set the world ablaze at the beginning of the year, they got better as they went on.

    All the same, I don’t have high expectations for Williams in 2011. What they’re doing is a bit like dancing – two steps forward, one step back.

  6. jimscreechy (@)
    30th December 2010, 5:50

    prisoner, you are saying ‘most likely’ based on this years results, effectively assuming the order between teams will simply stay as it is… never gonna happen. I very much dobut this will happen.

    Typically, I would be very surprised if Mercedes are running with Renault/group Lotus… or whatever they are called this coming season. To design a car and do so well in their first season was a very impressive begining, particularly coming from such a whittled down Brawn operation. Most new teams will write off the first season and consider any good results a bonus, but Mercedes were already brow beating themselves for not being in top running in 2010. With their financial might, well established engine, and crack pot bunch of white coated boffins, they will come out all guns blazing. The only thing they will have to worry about is how to keep Rosberg and Schumacher for ripping out each other’s throats.

  7. We didn’t suffer a single failure in a race this year.


    1. Yes, just wow…

      It showed they did a great job even though that means being a little conservative..

      1. Still better than the hydraulics/gearbox the new teams had, I guess – there is some truth in being slightly conservative to be able to get somewhere.

    2. They actually did quite well, especially considering how I thought they would do.

  8. “Cosworth would win Grands Prix if it was in the back of a car that’s capable of winning”.

    I love how supportive they are of their customers.

    1. I don’t think their customers should feel bad because they themselves have to admit that their main problem was the aerodynamics instead of the engine.
      You may say it sounds unsupporting but what can you do when it’s the truth. And it absolutely is the truth. If Red Bull had a cosworth it would still be fighting at the top and probably win or even do even better considering all the broken engines Vettel had.
      They really did a good job and the only problem they had was the loss of power over many miles that they clearly solved at the second part of the season.

      1. Well apart from it being a bit of a joke, Red Bull’s problem was their own, I didn’t see the main Renault team or even Mark Webber breaking their engines too much.

    2. I would think Frank Williams will probably agree, as well as the new teams.
      HRT would surely agree, that their car was very much off the pace, wouldn’t they?

  9. Great piece Keith. I really enjoy interviews like this.

  10. I think anything can happen next year and top 4 is a good goal for williams, they constantly improved this season thanks to great input by Barrichello. At the beggining of the season they were fighting with Saubers and TR’s and in the second half of the season they left them in the dust.

    In my opinion Force India could be the biggest bad surprise next year as they lost key technical personnel right at the crucial moment when the development of the next years car was starting.

  11. While you should always aim for the top I think the best Williams will achieve next year is fighting for fifth with Renault but probably another sixth place finish in the constructors championship.

  12. All it takes is one good idea or interpretation of the rules, think double diffuser, blown diffuser, F-duct, and they could have an early season edge just as likely as any other team. Never say never

  13. Great interview.

    As he seemed happy to take a journalist to the dyno room to look at the gauges, Keith, why don’t you take him up on that. The people of F1Fanatic want hard numbers.

    He’s beating his chest about his total output, but I don’t think anyone thinks that, under current rules, maximizing maximum torque requires technical genius. In fact, coming in late in the game, after competitors have been basically frozen for years, may have been a massive advantage in optimizing consumption, power-curve, and other perfrormance criteria, as well as maximum power.

    It’s also interesting to see the role Barichello played in developing both the engine and the chassis at Williams. He is obviously a huge asset.

    1. It’s also interesting to see the role Barichello played in developing both the engine and the chassis at Williams. He is obviously a huge asset.

      I think people overlook his contributions to making the Brawn GP what it was, and possibly even his contributions to all Schumacher’s king-making Ferraris.

      1. I seem to recall a few times early last season when Button was winning it was reported that Button was having trouble with his setup at the start of the weekend and so went with Barrichellos setup.

    2. As he seemed happy to take a journalist to the dyno room to look at the gauges, Keith, why don’t you take him up on that. The people of F1Fanatic want hard numbers.

      Indeed! There will be more on that in the second part of the interview (no hard figures though!)

  14. Williams’ last chance at a championship title was their flywheel KERS. If they had continued to develop this for their 2011 challenger they would have been the only team on the grid with the technology. The flywheel would be far more efficient than the battery KERS, if only the could have developed it further to overcome whatever negative effect it had on the car (or System). Their next chance will be with the 2013 rule changes. Until then, they’re still playing the same catch-up game they play while developing the car during the season, only it’s during the off-season.

  15. BTW, excellent piece Keith, Thanks

  16. Great interview Keith, gave me some insights and perspectives previously unrealized.

    As he states in the interview the overall performance is more about the car then the engines and I see no optimistic way of envisioning Williams in 4th place. If they can’t solve their cash flow problems and get seriuous sponsorship on board, where will the car development come from? Not to mention ongoing development during the season??

    Then again whodda thunk Honda/Brawn could of won double titles in 2009, but they were still suckling on the Honda teat, weren’t they? It’s still a race of who’s got the most cash.

  17. “I can take a journalist to our dyno and show them the power our engine is producing and be absolutely confident that what we’re doing as a company is a good job.”

    …I would LOVE to have a look at that. You should hold him to it, Keith :)

  18. Hi Keith,

    An interesting question to put to him would have been what effect the loss of 1 of their current 3 teams would have on their program given the current lack of any positive information surrounding HRT.

    Looking forward to the 2nd part of this interview anyway, I’ve always had a soft spot for Cosworth and find it funny that F1 is the only motorsport where they are considered an underdog!!

    1. I’ve always had a soft spot for Cosworth and find it funny that F1 is the only motorsport where they are considered an underdog!!

      Never thought of it that way before but you’ve got a good point there!

  19. Ambitious…too ambitious, It’s going to be way to competitive at the top next season. Mercedes want to win, McLaren want the best car from the start, Ferrari have to be winning else they implode and Red Bull are going to want to stay top dog. I’m sorry Williams but top 4 looks out of reach, go for 5th and try and beat Renault-Lotus.

  20. With all sympathy to Williams, I just can’t see them taking on the top four, to be frank, even the top five. Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren are out of reach, whereas Mercedes and Renault have the development potential not matched by Williams. Also in the drivers department Frank’s team is not on par – Maldonado may be on Petrov’s level, but Kubica, Rosberg and Schumacher (?) are superior to Barichello.

    1. Williams… to be frank

      Pun intended?

    2. Barrichello is still a top notch driver in every respect. Hulkenburg was well and truly seen off. You don’t get to stay on at the William’s team at that age if you’re not a good enough driver.

      Next season I think that we’ll see some of the older end of the field having a better share of the pie.

  21. Reading some of the comments here it seems like next seasons results are almost a foregone conclusion. Anything can happen, and F1 will be the better for it. Cosworth for a win in 2011!

  22. The’re not going to get to 4th place I think. Ferrari, McClaren, Red Bull and Mercedes all have better drivers and, more important, a bigger budget and a better designing team! Williams already made their first huge mistake; whey replaced the most talented rooky of the year and probably the most promising drivers since Hamilton or Rosberg with a paydriver that couldn’t even tie Hulk’s shoes when it comes to driving. He got owned by the Hulk in Gp2. Same team, same car, 3rd season Maldonado, 1st season Hülkenberg, Hülkenberg won the championship with one raceweekend to go, Maldonado was 6th. If you really want to get to no. 4, that’s a terrible decision, regardless of the money. If there’s no potential in your team, the money is useless.

  23. Rajesh George
    6th January 2011, 5:13

    I think Williams will suite 6th or 7th place.
    Ferrari, Red-bull, McClaren, Mercedes , Renault, Force India and Williams or Sauber

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