Williams aim to take seventh off Force India

2012 United States Grand Prix

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Williams say they will continue to bring updates to their car as they aim to pass Force India in the constructors’ championship in the final two races of the year.

“We will be pushing hard right to the end with further updates in order to try to secure seventh position in the constructors championship,” said chief operations engineer Mark Gillan.

Williams are 22 points behind Force India with two races left, and took 12 points off their rivals in Abu Dhabi.

Looking forward to the first race at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend, he said: “As this is a new track, with no historic database of information to call upon, it places even more importance on one’s circuit simulation tools and simulator to ensure that we’re fully prepared in terms of both car set-up and proposed run programme.

“Pirelli bring their hard and medium tyres and as normal for any new track one will need to be careful on analysing the track versus the tyre evolution when making strategy predictions.”

Head of Renault Sport F1 track operations Remi Taffin said: “Austin looks like it will be a very interesting circuit. It has replicated some of the most challenging corners we have visited, including the Suzuka Esses and turn eight from Istanbul.

“There are also several gradient changes over a lap, particularly in sector one, which features a blind apex that will really push the drivers. Going to a new track requires a lot of simulation on the dyno in advance, more than double the amount of time we would spend for a ‘standard’ race, but we may even spend longer than this, as with such variety of corners, we expect that the RS27 will be given a full workout.”

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    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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    41 comments on “Williams aim to take seventh off Force India”

    1. Pretty sad really, that Williams’ appalling driver lineup has limited them to fighting for 7th in the championship, rather than for at least 5th with Mercedes and Sauber.

      1. +1. But I hope Force India retains its place. They deserve it more.

      2. Agreed. It’s interesting how the car is a race winner, yet they’ve thrown away too many results with mistakes, crashes and penalties.

      3. How it would have been different if they had of kept Rubens.

        It makes me sad, very sad.

      4. Lotus also lost many points due to a driver unexperience. Anyway Rubens wouldn’t have done much better than Bruno and he would be there just for 2012, also losing FP1 to Bottas, who would take his place for 2013. Those 15 FP1 were also one of the reasons Williams lost points this year, as Bruno could have qualified higher if he had the right conditions. However it was the number 1 driver that lost a lot of points through crashes and penalties, but he also put the car where it didn’t belong sometimes due to his qualifying speed, which was vital for the win in Barcelona.

        1. kidding right?? Ruben cant do any better?? Or rather, who can do any worse than bruno in a competitive williams??

          1. Or rather, who can do any worse than Button did when he scored just 7 points in 6 races in the first half of the year? If that could happen to a WC in his 13th year, we have to understand why Bruno couldn’t qualify better this year, as he also lost 15 FP1. As he was fast and consistent in races we have to reckon he had the potential to score much more points had he qualified better this year. If he stays with the team I think he can recover the qualifying form of 2011 and become a very good F1 driver, capable of winning races if he has the right car.

    2. 9 penalties for Maldonado, a record in F1, says it all. The car has been capable of qualifying in the top 10 all season. He has been penalized 7 times after qualy, relegated backwards by 38 positions and only finished in points scoring positions on 4 occasions. Add 4 DNF’s to this mix.

      1. And still he will tell you he has done no wrong.

    3. It is has been sad to watch Williams this season: the car was capable of race wins on occasion (as Maldonado demonstrated) but a catalogue of mistakes from Maldonado and a lack of pace from Senna have prevented them from challenging the rest of the midfield. I genuinely believe they could have challenged for 5th, instead they look set to not improve on their position in last year’s constructors championship. Perhaps if Räikkönen had signed for them they would have been able to challenge for 5th.

      It is sad to be saying this of one of the great teams in F1 history. The car is a huge improvement on last year’s car, yet it isn’t going to yield an improvement in William’s championship position.

      1. Well, they finished 9th last year, so unless TR have a massive boost in the next 2 races, they’re pretty much guaranteed to score 8th.

        1. @optimaximal – of course, they’ve beaten Toro Rosso this year! Forgot about that. Still, rather disappointing that they’ve improved so marginally given such a big step up in performance.

    4. Assuming constructor prize money as per 2010 (link) gives a $9mio difference between 5th and 8th in the standings. Now factor in the increased chances of team sponsorship deals (this is of course impossible to value, but it must have an impact… let’s call is $Xmio).

      Now, whatever Bruno Senna is paying for his drive, does this equate to $9+Xmio? If not, Williams are paying the price for taking the quick $ instead of either putting either Bottas in the car, or keeping Hulkenberg on.

      By the way, not only does finishing higher in the standings give more prize money, it also (in all probability) breads long term success and increases moral in the team.

      Lots of qualitative factors here, but to me if the prize gaps are made closer, the more attractive a pay driver becomes. I believe Williams are getting what they deserve for putting Senna in the car (Maldonado aside) and I hope they finish 8th for the sake of the sport.

      1. Bruno is supposed to be bringing £10 million to the table, which whilst quite costly in his performance relative to Pastor, is a bit better for he bottom line than paying Rubens a wage.

      2. @john-h Interesting thoughts.

        We could also factor in the narrower gap in performance we see between the cars now. Technical regulations that are constant and restrictive should even out the differences in performance across the field over time and arguably that is what we’ve seen this year.

        When that is the case, the value of having the best available drivers increase, which brings us back to the debate we had about Ferrari and Massa a while ago.

        1. Correct, Keith Collantine. The narrower gap in performance between cars made more vital to have a great qualifier like Maldonado, someone able to put the car in the Top 10 eleven times and in the Top 6 of the grid six times. I imagine 1989 when Ayrton usually beat Prost in qualifying with identical margins to those Pastor beat Bruno this year in Williams. Prost was Champion that year only because McLaren was by far the best car and Ayrton had poor reliability and made many mistakes that year (like Pastor this year). If McLaren was not the class of the field at the time, but a midfield car instead, Prost would be nowhere and he probably wouldn’t have done much better than Bruno did this year.

      3. I think Williams have made some very poor decisions in the last 5 years with respect to drivers. Money, while very vital for a good car, cannot substitute for a poor driver. Senna and Pastor are definitely not bad, but they seem to be incapable of getting the best out of their cars.

        Look at Sauber and Force India. Sauber finished lower than FI last year and yet this year are better than Mercedes on many counts. Force India, from Spyker which languished at the bottom, now regularly produces a decent car. People expect FI to qualify in the top 10 more often than not. The same goes for their drivers.

        What Williams is getting wrong is that by following a policy of self-sponsorship (if they are following one as such) they are limiting the chance of their car scoring points. Even with the season Kamui is having, he still seems more likely to score than Pastor or Senna. Even the Toro Rosso drivers are starting to show signs of driving skills.

        Just imagine if Glock and Heiki were racing for Williams and not Marussia and Caterham. Even if the same number of points weren’t scored, they’d at least have a good solid driver lineup complete with experience and skill. That would help them more in the long run than a stop gap solution.

        1. Points:

          I’d argue that employing Rubens was a very good choice – heck, he was a race winner not a year earlier. He was just lumped with a dreadful car in the second year and it all went downhill because the lacklustre performance meant even less money for an already starved team.

          Nakajima was installed in 2008/9 due to the Toyota engine deal. If Williams could, they’d have had him out after the first season of dire results.

          Also, the Sauber has slowly slipped back to being an average car with sudden spurts of performance should the track or the strategy suit them enough that it allows Perez to jump ahead by treating the tyres nicely.

    5. The major problem Williams has is that one of their drivers is really fast and capable of winning races but is not consistent at all. The other one is not so fast but has been scoring on more occasions as the other but only in the lower end of the points. A small problem with the car here and there only adds to the misery. That car and both those drivers had some much chance and promise for this year. Perhaps finishing with both cars in the points at Abu Dhabi is a sign of improvement? I don’t want to belittle their great win in Spain but they could have achieved much more this year.

      1. Actually I think theres quite a bit to say about having such a line-up!

        But being Williams, I would rather have the first guy make less forced errors (although Maldonado has been a lot better at that in the last 4 races already) and the other guy capable of finishing at bit higher.

    6. The upcoming tracks look like they will suit Williams more than Force India, it will be close but with some luck (or unluck for Force India) they could pull it off. I think Force India stopped developing their car very early this year, even though they’ve pulled off some decent results in the second half of the season. It might come back to hurt them even if it helps them next season.

    7. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      12th November 2012, 14:34

      It’s probably a record for Maldonado to be a race winner and at the same time not having more than other 2 score-finishes, Senna had more consistency but a bad qualifying pace. Sir Frank needs a driver who can do both things: To have great qualifying pace and race consistency.

      1. @omarr-pepper Jean-Pierre Jabouille won two races in his career, one in 1979 and the other in1980, and those were his only point-finishes in those seasons. In fact, he has only one 4th place in 1978 to show beside those wins. Those early Renault turbos were really reliable! :P

    8. What I think is more worrying for Williams is that they have a huge fan base from those fans who grew up in the 90’s with Hill, Villeneuve and Mansell etc. I expect that the early 2000s brought them some fans with Ralf Schumacher and Montoya, but since then they’ve had no real success and instead have slowly sunk to the bottom of the pile. Their win this year was great…but without some real success, I fear for their future. They need to start winning properly again. Better drivers and higher places in the constructors championship is a good start, but now they’ve gone down the slippery slope of the pay driver, I am concerned they’ll not get back to their winning ways.

    9. I think they could have been higher up the standings, if Senna had not missed most of FP1s. Loosing valuable track time has a huge impact on any driver. Im not a fan of his, but I think Senna could have qualified higher, thus could have better chance to finish higher. He had about half the track time compared to his teamate, and in my opinion this cost him realy mutch in the first half of the season. He did not have same time to understand the tyres nor the car, but as we reach the end of the season he is getting better performances. I dont think he is faster than Maldonado, but usually he is the one who brings the car home in one piece. In my opinion Williams really messed up this with the Bottas Project.

      1. I agree. Bruno’s problem has been in qualifying – he’s shown some really good racing skills on Sundays, and has often had to fight his way into the points from 13th/14th/15th/16th position. He’s had some great races. But I’m sure that missing out on FP1 has had an impact on his qualifying performance. It would be interesting to see if Pastor would have been so great in qualy if half of his practice time was taken away.

        Definitely frustrating as a Williams fan though, seeing them finally put a great car together and not make the most of it.

      2. Hard to be sure about it, but given his consistence in the races, tt would have surely helped a lot with getting him setup better.
        After all in his first race for Renault/Lotus last year in Spa he did a great job in qualifying, and he did reach Q3 in Monza as well, so its not as if he is a lame qualifier in general.

    10. Maldonado lacks the consistency and brains that Senna has. Senna lacks the speed and raw talent that Maldonado has. If you were to mix them together, somehow, you could have a capable driver. Until then, no.

      1. Exactly, I bet Sir Frank is really wishing the team hadn’t got rid of Rubens. Ok he wasn’t exactly world championship material but he would’ve been bringing points a lot more frequently than Bruno and Pastor.
        Pastors speed and Rubens consistency would have certainly brought a lot more points than they have now.

        1. Rubens would have done at most as good as Senna, he is in Fisi and Trulli boat.

          1. Rubens, as shown in 2009 and 2010, can get results when the car is on the pace. If Maldonado can bag a win in Spain when the car was on top, imagine what Rubens could’ve done at Spain, Valencia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi when Williams were able to challenge the top 3 teams.

            Senna is nothing more than a driver surrounded in ridiculous amount of hype that failed to deliver when it mattered. If he didn’t have sponsors, I very much doubt he’d still have that seat.

            And yes, I’m fully aware that the same could be said about Pastor. But you need to look at the results when the car has been on the pace.

            Spain Quali: PM 2nd, BS 17th
            Spain Race: PM 1st, BS DNF
            Europe Quali: PM 3rd, BS 14th
            Europe Race: PM 10th, BS 11th (Pastor was fighting for a podium)
            Singapore Quali: PM 2nd, BS 17th
            Singapore Race: PM DNF, BS 18th (Pastor probably would’ve come 5th-9th)
            Abu Dhabi Quali: PM 4th, BS 15th
            Abu Dhabi Race: PM 5th, BS 8th (Pastors KERS failed)

            So going off that everytime the Williams has been on the pace of the front runners its Pastor fighting for the big points and the podiums. He’s been let down by the car twice and let down by his incompetence once. Bruno on the other hand was ploughed into once and the other times he’s been nowhere. Of course loosing FP1 was probably hurt him a little but I remember last year and in 2010 Force India constantly putting di Resta and Hulkenberg in the car and neither of their drivers doing too badly in the race. The fact of the matter is F1 is not for Bruno and offers little in the term of speed and results.

            1. Button doesn’t lose 15 FP1 and he scored just 7 points in 6 races of the first half of the year due to qualifying issues with tyres. If that could happen to a WC in his 13th year we have to undestand why Bruno didn’t qualify well this year. But he can improve a lot with 2013 tyres and recover his 2011 qualifying form (beating Alonso in Spa with the Lotus, or putting his car four times in Q3 in just eight races). As he was fast and consistent in races this year he has the potential to become a very good F1 driver if he stays with the team, or even if he goes to Force India.

      2. I disagree with Senna lacking ‘raw talent’, i think the opposite. I think he has alot of underlying raw talent, his problem is that hasnt been exploited/developed as much as his peers because he missed alot of racing during his teens while they where all gaining alot of seat/development time in various catagories, and still despite missing alot of sessions in F1, hasnt done too bad at all.

        1. I agree. What I think has been great to watch from him this year is his progress in terms of race performance. Last year, he was quick most of the time in qualifying (the tires seemed to suit him better), but his races tended to be a bit sloppy and uneven. This year, his racecraft has improved mightily. Comparing overtaking maneuvers between Bruno and Maldonado makes the latter look sloppy indeed (which he still is, in my opinion, and I wouldn’t like to be racing wheel to wheel with him). I really enjoy watching Bruno calculate and execute passes this year.

        2. despite missing alot of sessions in F1, hasnt done too bad at all

          This is Formula 1. “He hasn’t done too badly” is nowhere near good enough.

          1. Not good enough but the same can be said for Button, who scored 7 points in 6 races of first half of the season, due to identical problems with tyres to those that also affected Bruno. If that could happen to a WC in his 13th year (and he didn’t lose any FP1), we have to understand why Bruno couldn’t do better this year.

      3. Looking at the Senna’s on-board after every single miss-hap, I doubt your first sentence. I wonder how much that actually affects his drive. Whenever Senna has a driving helmet on, he seems to me like a driver on the edge – not in positive way. Then again, he is under massive pressure, but so are most of the drivers.

    11. It’s interesting to compare Williams’ and McLaren’s seasons. On one hand, Williams have built a pretty decent car, far better than previous years, to the point where they were able to win a race, but have been let down by having two drivers that for different reasons can’t extract the maximum from the car. On the other hand, McLaren have two fantastic drivers, which have both been let down by their team, and on a few occasions the car itself.

      Also, as many have already pointed out, had Williams had a driver like Raikkonen this year, whose consistency has been second to none, they would be doing far better, I’m sure. They’ve had a few problems this year with their car, but so have every team at some point or another, and they’ve been let down more by their drivers than any other team. I think it will be a disappointing end to a year that yielded a lot of potential for a team that sorely needs results.

    12. Williams could be fighting somewhere between Sauber and Force India, with much more points, if it wasn’t for the unexperience of drivers, that I agree. Maldonado was in his second year with the team, so he should have had more consistency in races and a lot more points. Bruno was only in his first year in the team and also had the disadvantage of losing 15 FP1, but he could have done better if it wasn’t for his problems with 2012 tyres, the same problem that also hurt Jenson Button. As it was his season was badly compromised by poor qualiffying and consequently much less points than he was capable to collect had he started higher up for the races. It’s hard to judge what lost him more points, but losing FP1 was certainly costly both to him and to the team. So, putting Bottas in 15 FP1 was also a factor for many points lost for Williams.

      Pastor Maldonado is maybe the best in a single lap (at least level with Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso on that exercise) but the difference to his current team mate is much more than that, as he is always in the car while Bruno Senna loses FP1 almost everywhere. We can’t forget 2012 tyres and how Jenson Button scored only 7 points in 6 races in the first half of the season, just because he couldn’t warm enough his tyres in qualifying. If that could happen to a WC in his 13th year, we have to understand why Bruno Senna (a driver with a very smooth driving style, similar to Button’s) could not qualify well this year. 2013 tyres having a larger window in qualifying and believing Senna won’t accept to lose any FP1 if he stays with the team, I can’t wait to see how much he can reduce the gap to Pastor on Saturdays. Then we could witness a fair and fascinating duel between team mates, as I expect Bruno would recover the qualifying form that saw him beat Alonso in Spa in his first weekend in a proper F1 car or put his Lotus in 9th in Interlagos while his team mate could only be 15th.

      Anyway, I believe Pastor would always tend to be slightly quicker, just like Hamilton V Button or Ayrton Senna V Alain Prost. It is more a mental thing, just like Pastor says in a recent interview. The Venezuelan looks more and more like Ayrton in a single lap. So I think both him and Bruno can improve a lot in 2013, as both will be more experienced and can only improve their respective weak points of 2012. Pastor will be more consistent in races and Bruno will be much quicker in qualifying.

    13. They’ve had quite a fall from grace since Barcelona and it is a shame. Maldonado occasionally shows flashes of brilliance and if this was his rookie season I’d be really optimistic about ext season, but it’s not…so I ain’t! Senna unfortunately is very dull but to be fair to the guy, he’s had a tumultuous first few seasons in F1 so I don’t think popping him back in the seat again for next year will be a bad thing. Let him establish a base to work from rather tan have him jumping from one team to another.

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