Lance Stroll, Williams, Melbourne, 2018

Stroll’s father wants Williams to ‘do a Haas’ with Mercedes

2018 F1 season

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Lance Stroll’s father Lawrence wants Williams and Mercedes to adopt a Haas/Ferrari-style model but denied he has offered to pay for it.

Haas sources its power unit, gearbox, rear suspension and other components* from Ferrari. Stroll told RaceFans it makes sense for Williams to pursue a similar arrangement with Mercedes, whose engines it already uses.

However the fashion magnate, whose wealth is estimated at several billion dollars, dismissed rumours he has offered to fund a Haas-type deal between Mercedes and Williams.

Stroll said he “tried to persuade [the team] to go that route, but I’m not about to buy them anything from Toto [Wolff, Mercedes Motorsport executive director].”

In response to a question from RaceFans in Baku, Wolff said the team now has the “capacity” to follow the Haas model with Williams or fellow engine customer Force India in 2019.

“I think we have seen that the system between Ferrari and Haas has worked for both,” said Wolff. “It’s an interesting revenue filler for Ferrari and I think in terms of synergies there is a lot you can work on.

“And it has functioned for Haas. They are a very competitive team without having built on a legacy, or without having built on know-how that would have taken years and years to collect.

“So far the system is very successful and of course our thinking goes in that direction, whether it is Williams or Force India to collaborate. But we are in the middle of a tough fight for this 2018 championship, so we need to prioritise.”

Paddy Lowe, Lawrence Stroll, Bahrain, 2018
Stroll (right) with Williams designer Paddy Lowe
Rumours Williams might pursue a closer relationship with Mercedes first surfaced last year. But deputy team principal Claire Williams told RaceFans last month the team is “proud” to be a constructor and said she is unwilling to pursue the Haas route.

“The model that Haas have, the model that Force India have to a lesser degree, is not something that we subscribe to at Williams. We certainly haven’t in the past. We feel we are a whole constructor, a holistic constructor. We’re very proud of the fact that we design, build and develop our race cars fully in-house. Very, very little is out-sourced.

“Whether that’s a relevant approach in this day and age under the operating circumstances that we find ourselves in in Formula One at the moment, maybe it’s not. But that’s where we are at the moment, and so that’s what we have to work with.”

*Full details of the ‘listed parts’ Haas uses here

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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...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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72 comments on “Stroll’s father wants Williams to ‘do a Haas’ with Mercedes”

  1. It is an intriguing option for business survival, but that would absolutely erode William’s brand value. Haas and Williams are operating under completely different circumstances. One is the third longest-running name in F1 that dabbles in automotive consultancy for revenue, and the other is a machine tool manufacturer that dabbles in motorsport for publicity. I understand why Claire Williams does not wish to pursue that model, and sincerely hope that the team makes it through their tough times. Even if they are forced to exit F1, hopefully they can move on to some other form of motorsport, like Joest or Jota.

    1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
      3rd May 2018, 15:44

      This is exactly my same opinion @sundark

    2. FlatSix (@)
      3rd May 2018, 18:54

      @sundark I might be interpreting your comment wrong here but what’s not good about the Haas way of going about? They’re a healthy team, have two drivers they chose for reasons beyond their budget,…, in all honestly I think Claire and also Sauber can only dream of such times again.

      1. Ideally you want F1 to have any number of teams that under the right conditions could win. If you start having Ferrari “B” teams, Mercede’s “B” teams etc. you end up with a two tier championship – midfield teams that have no capacity to ever be championship contenders.

        Put it another way, Redbull or McLaren – under the perfect conditions could have produced a championship winning car as a customer team. To a lesser degree so could Williams – the question is could Haas have? The perception, (perhaps incorrectly) is No. Fans want there to be a chance that if Williams pull things right they can once again be at the top, going the Haas route and be relegated to a midfield runner. At the same time I believe if Haas truly want to race at the front of the pack they will need to become less reliant on Ferrari and go the “Williams” route.

    3. @sundark @m-bagattini I firmly disagreed. I found Stroll wish as a very reasonable perspectives from an investor. Less expenses, more gain. I don’t think it’s fair for Stroll to follow current Williams procurement models. Why should he spend money on engineering research that benefit other Williams business but didn’t deliver significant result to his main goal which is F1?

    4. @sundark
      Its between a team’s brand value and being a better racing outfit.
      Your brand value is only as strong as your strength on track. Yes, Williams does have a very strong history in F1, one most of us will do well to remember (hopefully) but their story desperately needs a positive turn. We may see it approaching with all these changes in regs but a deal with Mercedes akin to Haas-Ferrari would not only improve their on track performance for the next two years–which also means more sponsorship money, but will also ensure their survival as you mentioned. The knock-on effect will be using those resources to build a better car come 2021.

    5. Well I don’t think it’s a viable option for a variety of reason.

      First of all, your performance is linked to your suppliers. Haas are quite lucky that the parts that Ferrari produces are obviously top of the crop, since they have the best car this year, however if there were getting parts from a 2014 Ferrari for example, I don’t think they would be as fast as they are now.

      Secondly, Williams already knows how to make a car. When there is a possibility that at 2021 the playing field would be level again, to stop being a “real” constructor right now makes no sense. After all if we believe Liberty they might fight for wins soon enough.

      But most importantly, buying most of your car makes you absolutely dependent to the supplier. Lets say Ferrari quit next year, what will become of Haas?

      1. what will become of Haas?

        A Haas-been….:))

        Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

        1. You win a thousand Internet points for that quip, @svianna !

      2. @afonic

        Lets say Ferrari quit next year, what will become of Haas?

        More importantly.. if Williams start challenging Ferrari.. then Ferrari will stop supplying Williams.

      3. @afonic

        First of all, your performance is linked to your suppliers. Haas are quite lucky that the parts that Ferrari produces are obviously top of the crop, since they have the best car this year, however if there were getting parts from a 2014 Ferrari for example, I don’t think they would be as fast as they are now.

        Agreed. Nothing stops Williams from signing a similar deal with Mercedes.

        Secondly, Williams already knows how to make a car. When there is a possibility that at 2021 the playing field would be level again, to stop being a “real” constructor right now makes no sense. After all if we believe Liberty they might fight for wins soon enough.

        They don’t have to stop being a real constructor anytime. They lose nothing by becoming an end to end Mercedes customer and at the same time shifting their resources towards to building a car towards the “level playing field” of 2021. An interim two year deal could do wonders at least from a business perspective. Right now, they are just there. Presence is not everything.

        But most importantly, buying most of your car makes you absolutely dependent to the supplier. Lets say Ferrari quit next year, what will become of Haas?

        Ferrari aren’t quitting until 2021 (i don’t work for them so this is just optimism). In an ideal scenario, Haas go to Renault or Mercedes. There is no other option for them. I know it aint easy, but a team would never jeopardize its survival based on its one supplier. (Although i remember reading something about the number of customer teams being capped to three. Not sure)

    6. @sundark I’d like to take a different perspective. You say Williams’ brand value will be eroded, but I can’t help but wonder what that brand value is at the moment. They have been in steady decline since the mid naughties, and they haven’t really done a whole lot to enhance their image in recent years, I’d argue that the Williams brand value has already eroded.

      Essentially, if Williams want to safeguard their long term future, they have to make changes. Any Chief Executive of any company that decides to pursue a course that inevitably leads to financial disaster needs to be sacked. It’s akin to doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome.

      Nobody likes to make hard choices, but Claire/Frank will be faced with them sooner rather than later. Their arrogance could potentially lead to their downfall.

      Williams have a great history. If they aren’t careful, the team might become just that: history

    7. @flatsix I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong in the “Haas way” of running a team, it’s just that they both have different objectives in racing.

      @webtel @jaymenon10 Yes, I get your points. Williams is probably facing a huge erosion in their reputation due to their string of bad results, and yes, they have a tough choice to make. But they are faced with a dilemma of two right choices to turn their company around, and I believe that they have already made their choice – to stick to their roots. I think this is indicated by the fact that they hired Paddy Lowe, and more importantly, installed him on the board. Lowe has a reputation to uphold, and unlike Adam Parr, has enough power in F1 to ensure that he is not unceremoniously sacked even after executing a successful turnaround, no matter how short-lived.

  2. The trouble is there are a low of drawbacks to the model for Williams, who aren’t just an F1 team but also an engineering company. Without F1 working as a showcase for their engineering abilities, there would need to be some sweetener for the trade-off. But what really can the HAAS model deliver? Fourth in the constuctors’? A very unlikely sniff at an occasional podium? There’s a glass ceiling for teams operating in this way. Yes, a ceiling which Williams are certainly not in danger of nudging at the moment, but one the team is very unlikely to want to be subjected to.

    1. And what can the Williams model deliver? Do everything inhouse with 1/3rd of the price at 98% competitivness?

      1. Basil (@flyingbasil)
        4th May 2018, 14:17

        Force India? They operate on a lesser budget. They buy more parts than Williams but not as much as HAAS. And they just got to a podium.

  3. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
    3rd May 2018, 15:47

    I have a strong deja-vu sensation, I’m fairly sure I already read the same article before

  4. Funny, I was thinking the stark opposite. Williams were once world champions, and in 2021 there will be a new prize structure and new engine regulations (and fingers crossed some new engine manufacturers). If there is ever going to be an opportunity for Williams to bring themselves back to the front, this would be it. I’m not suggesting they’re going to be able to compete with Mercedes and Ferrari (and Renault), but they should be striving to bring themselves back as their own team, not as a B-team that relies on a bigger team. If anything they should distance themselves from Mercedes and make their own winning partnerships

    1. @strontium +1

      It is Williams!

      The Haas model is good for new entries, in order to get relative short term success, but team should seek ways to be independent and competitive once they settle in.
      Williams as a B team? That’s a travesty

      1. @johnmilk @strontium

        Agree completely. Williams might be in survival mode right now.. but they aren’t in this sport to become a B team that runs another team’s car, with an end goal of being mediocre. Williams was the best team throughout the 90s…. a team with championships and a legacy. Heck, Williams had a better car than Mercedes just 6 seasons ago.. so I think it’s ridiculous that they should follow the Haas route and become a B team just because the current financial/engine regulation era isn’t favouring them.

        As Claire had mentioned, they’re a team of racers and they take pride in the fact that it’s their own intelligence that designs all the parts necessary to go racing. That’s where Williams is creating value as a racing team. Haas just outsources every part of their car to either Ferrari or Dallara. There’s absolutely no value in that. If someone were to acquire Haas tomorrow, what exactly are they paying for? The Haas brand? A bunch of people who outsource all their functions to partners?

        Honestly, I’m kind of surprised that Papa Stroll is making these kinds of comments. He’s already sounding like an investor in the Williams team. For a guy who’s made billions creating a sustainable business, he should have had a smarter approach to seeing Williams’ future before making these statements. Maybe he just wants Williams to have short term gains so Lance can start to shine. I think Papa Stroll needs to realise that his money can’t buy Lance talent, and no team in their right mind will throw away a legacy for short term gains.

    2. I fully agree @strontium. And with the Red Bull Honda tie up starting to look more likely, I believe Williams should now be focused on poaching their Aston Martin partnership. There’s nothing I’d like to see more than a competitive Williams-Aston Martin team in 2021.

      1. Aston cannot build any type of F1 engine. They cannot build any new engines full stop, road cars included, they are not capable. Willisms also are not capable so need a Haas model. Its back to the future as like all old Brit teams they just cobbled together parts from others. Using the Haas model is very much like how little shed Brit teams started.

        1. Actually Aston make the V8 and V12 engines for their cars in house at their plant in Cologne, including the variant used in their Vantage GT car that won the GT class at Le Mans last year. Granted that is still some way from the F1 engines, but their involvement in the discussions for the 2021 engines and rumours of a tie up with Cosworth give me optimism.

          On your second point, Williams got into F1 to win. Back then F1 was a lot different and you could win with old equipment and cobbled together parts. The same spec Cosworth DFV engine was winning races from 1967-1983. James Hunt won his first race and came 4th in the championship with what was essentially a second hand March. But thats no longer the case, I believe teams like Haas have a place in F1 but they’re never going to win and I think it will be a sad day when Williams follow a similar path and effectively give up on becoming a winning team again.

          1. Andrew in Atlanta
            3rd May 2018, 22:17

            Well the engines they make are a Ford design and haven’t been heavily modified from that since then. So they are manufacturing an engine, VERY different from building an engine. For their new engines they had to go to MB as they couldn’t do it in house. Not a good sign for a company, who claims to be top of the class, if they can’t be bothered to redesign something.

          2. @yossarian, as Andrew in Atlanta notes, the V12 engine is effectively just two Ford Duratec V6 engines bolted end to end, even if it has been tweaked since then.

            The V8 might be assembled by Aston Martin in Cologne, but at it’s core the engine is little more than a slightly modified version of the Jaguar AJ-8 series engine (and it’s not even the most modern version of that engine either – Jaguar have updated that engine since Aston Martin split from them).

            It also has to be said that Aston’s success at Le Mans has mainly come through the ACO forcing the teams to essentially degrade the performance of the more modern cars down to that of the Vantage due to the balance of performance requirements, something which has provoked a bit of resentment from some of the other manufacturers at times.

            It’s worth noting that even Aston Martin have admitted that what a Cosworth “partnership” would really mean is that Cosworth designs and builds the engines, and Aston Martin would do little more than provide the funding and stamp their name on the side of it – it would literally be an “Aston Martin” engine in name only.

          3. Thanks for the info, I do like finding out about the intricacies of the motorsport world. I knew the Ford heritage of the V12, but was under the impression that Aston’s involvement was at least at the level of a pretty good tuning shop (with its own production line), though sounds like I was giving them far too much. credit.
            I still feel that a technical partnership with Aston would be a good call for Williams. Extra funding to replace the Martini sponsorship, possible research tie-ups and the (slim) possibility of being a de facto works partner to an engine supplier, even if that engine is a rebadged Cosworth.

          4. Just a point… You don’t actually just bolt two v6 engines together and create a v12. If we’re going to dumb engineering down that much then all the f1 cars are just powered by v6’s.

    3. @strontium, the thing is, Williams already receives a slightly disproportionate cut of revenues because they do receive some historical payment bonuses – so, for example, although Force India finished ahead of Williams in the 2017 WCC, the special bonus payments Williams receives means that Williams actually earned more than Force India did.

      In Dieter’s article looking at the impact of the proposed changes, it meant that, whilst Williams might gain some additional money under the proposals by Liberty Media, they won’t gain as much as you think because Williams would then have to give up the historical bonus payments that they receive.

      It would mean that teams such as Force India or Sauber would actually gain more out of the changes than Williams may gain – so, for example, rather than earning $6.5 million less than Williams, as happened in 2017, Force India would have earned $4.5 million more than them.

      That suggests that, if the changes did go ahead, rather than looking towards the front of the grid, Williams might be coming under more threat from the teams towards the rear of the grid as they will actually gain more from the changes than Williams might.

      1. @strontium I agree.

        @anon True. However, I think we have to consider everything together, and ponder what the potential changes can bring, not just the one aspect of prize money. Ten or twenty million less or more here or there isn’t going to bury a team, nor is it going to make them Championship contenders. A team with an extra 20 mill can easily miss the mark and have a car that treats tires poorly for example, etc etc. Toyota spend half a billion a year and that was half a billion of ‘older money’ at that, and look what that did(n’t) get them. And they (the changes) are all positive changes if Liberty gets their way, and of course if the global audience co-operates as well, lol.

        Theoretically, giving less to the top teams and more to the lesser ones, combined with a budget cap, combined with less expensive engines and costs of competing in general, along with closer racing and a more enthralling show, is all meant to create a much better healthier balance within F1, as well as a growing audience and hence a growing number of entities wanting to market their brands through F1, and the potential is huge. This is why Claire is stoked about the changes. She’s not stoked nor saddened about a bit more or less prize money…it’s about what the overall outlook that Liberty wants to put in play can mean for the overall health and viability of the sport in general.

        I don’t think Claire is sitting there thinking they will gain more threat from the back of the grid due to them gaining a few more millions. It is about the big picture and I’m sure she see’s Williams as a team that can get back to being more competitive within a better healthier entity. And as usual she can’t control what others do. She just knows for now to be excited about the prospects for the future of the sport.

  5. I think there is more to it than just the whether to do it or not. It is about to which degree you want to do it. Williams can not build an engine so that comes from mercedes. But should williams be building their own gearboxes for example? From what I remember all other teams are using carbon-titanium gearboxes whereas williams still uses cast aluminum one (william’s one is heavier). Either way you go you are spending lots of money. But with gearbox you also get suspension mounting points which defines your suspension geometry to some degree. Going half way could be worse than not going there at all. You may end up with unknown limitations you learn very late in the car design process. With your own gearboxes you can at least have all under your own control and any surprises are your own fault.

    It has not been exactly rosy for haas either with ferrari. Before this season there was some talk about how there were some communication issues, parts coming late (because ferrari can work much closer to the deadlines than haas can) and parts being different than what was assumed. While the parts you get are better than the parts you can build on your own… the haas parts you need to build around those ferrari parts are worse because you are working around issues that you can not change, or using parts configured for different kind of setup or you may end up wasting weight or space to make things fit.

    Other thing is that there are different reasons why the haas route works for haas but might not work for williams. One is that haas is a new team. They are building their team so in the short term it is better to use something good someone else built while your own engineers and facilities are working up to being able to build it some day. Williams already has that capability so for williams to do this they’d lose the expertise and facilities they have built over many years. If you buy a gearbox from mercedes you don’t need a gearbox department anymore. Another factor for williams is that they are also a tech and engineering company. Making their own stuff is very important for their business. It would be a bit like google going to microsoft to buy a search engine if williams started using mercedes gearboxes.

    If a rule change comes later that frees up the gearbox regulations then williams having their own team would allow them to build the car as a full package instead of building around what they buy elsewhere. But at the same time if the gearboxes become more standardized it might be better to go with mercedes gearboxes because it may not be worth it to pay more for lesser product and because of the standardization there are very little compatibility issues.

  6. With his money, he could probably buy Sauber and enter into a partnership with one of the manufacturer teams.

    1. 160 millions in two years. He should already own Force India. What a waste…

  7. Robert McKay
    3rd May 2018, 16:43

    I think it’s one thing to buy your son a Formula 1 drive with your money.

    It’s quite another thing to use that money to entirely change the technical focus and business ethos of that team.

    Williams still have to live in a post-Stroll-money world – one day he will get bored.

    Maybe being a Haas-like team is right for Williams, but they shouldn’t be bounced into it by the Strolls.

  8. Claire needs to keep Lawrence at arm’s length so she’s still in a position to ditch Lance when the opportunity arises.

    1. Completely agree. She needs to draw a clear line in their terms of partnership as money received = rubbish driver gets a seat. No more .. no less.

      1. Its the same thing Frank should have done with Claire long ago. Do people still remember Williams used to have THAT Montoya and THAT speed. And now they are nowhere with 2 pay drivers at the back of the field…

        Oh my days, the “family first” rule will be this team’s demise.

  9. I’m with Stroll on this one. Team needs to be competitive.

    Williams will never be competitive trying to play the big game with small budget.

  10. There goes lance there goes the money.

    1. Good riddance! Take your money and run.
      Buy yourself an erection on 4 wheels with a Mercedes engine and some yes-men.

  11. Right when I think Williams couldn’t sink any lower, comments like this surface. Is Stroll really suggesting that one of the most successful teams in F1 history, multiple champion, is to be treated like a brand new team? Williams is a team that a couple of years ago was getting regular podiums. If they want to emulate Haas maybe they should focus more on Haas management style, passion, and ambition, and less on the help they get from Ferrari. Williams is fully capable of producing a top chassis. At least one that can compete with an underfunded Force India

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      3rd May 2018, 18:43

      Spot on @ajpennypacker, the Haas model is a blueprint to enter the sport, not to succeed in it.
      Yes Haas have had a good start to the year, but are likely now nearing the ceiling of what the austere max-customer strategy can deliver. Should they ever wish to outpace the works Ferrari they would need to jump ship to Ford factory status or similar down the line, but as @sundark rightly outlines above, this is unlikely, as they are foremost a CNC company, who get good value for money with their F1 programme, and are honest in stating their bottom line success is measured in exposure and affiliation, not points and prizes.
      Should Williams decide to act on Strolls advice, it will be confirming the theory they proposed with this year’s line-up, that they shamefully aren’t in it to win it anymore; rather rent-a-midfield charlatans coasting on their former reputation.

      1. Well put. I’ve thought for a while that mediocrity is part of their business plan, and that F1 has become a bit of an expensive pet project.

        1. But Williams isn’t ‘sinking lower’ here. It sounds like Williams has no interest in going the Haas/Ferrari route. It is Stroll that thinks Williams should consider this, yet he is not willing to pay, and Williams seems not willing to do this, so I think the story is a non-starter.

  12. ForzaAlonsoF1
    3rd May 2018, 18:04

    I believe the catalyst for a change such as Williams adopting the Haas business model will be the demise of Sir Frank. Sad but possibly true.

  13. I really hope they don’t go that way. I can see Stroll and his money leaving at the end of the season but I hope Williams can just keep going until 2021 when they might have a good chance with a fairer pay structure.

  14. I’ve got a much better idea – pay the extra so that Kubica can be the lead driver, demote Stroll to reserve driver, and I guarantee the team will move forwards!

  15. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    3rd May 2018, 18:43

    With respect to Stroll’s dad, since when did a driver’s father have anything to do with what his son’s employer does? Personally I think Williams should stay doing what they’re doing – improve and get better and not start looking for quick fixes to long term problems.

    1. Because Papa Stroll is the source of a substantial portion of Williams’ budget. If I were Claire Williams or Paddy Lowe I’d laugh him out of the room, but he could start threatening to withhold his millions at any time. Sadly, Williams is forced to at least hear what he has to say, even if they won’t and/or shouldn’t take it seriously.

  16. The HASS model is the future of big digital services, outsource as many expensive liabilities as possible. It makes sense that it works in F1 also. I’d be curious how much development the bigger teams outsource.

    1. I think Haas does that less because those development aspects are “expensive liabilities”, and more because Haas is very short-staffed and has a tiny budget compared to most of the other teams. They don’t have the money or manpower to develop a car by themselves, and Gene Haas is only going to divert so much money from Haas CNC and the NASCAR team.

      1. @forzamaldonado, even the largest teams in the sport now outsource a sizeable amount of their development work to independent third parties – very few teams have ever been able to do everything entirely in house.

        Mercedes have drawn on companies such as Ztyek when developing their energy recovery systems, whilst Ferrari have been heavily relying on AVL to develop their engines (they basically commissioned AVL to redesign their engine for the 2015 season, which was part of the reason why their performance improved that season). Virtually every single team on the grid outsources at least part of their wind tunnel testing work to the Toyota Motorsport Group wind tunnel in Cologne, and Red Bull has outsourced part of its development work on electronic systems to companies such as Magnetti Marelli.

        Realistically, it is more of a sliding scale of how much development work is outsourced these days, because every team does it to some extent. Even Williams has done it quite a bit in the past – I know that, in the past, they often subcontracted quite a bit of the development work on their gearboxes and hydraulics systems to Xtrac.

  17. This actually makes some sense from a short-term competitive standpoint, but if Williams were to go through with this, they can forget about fielding a race winning car for quite a while. The Haas blueprint is a good one to follow for teams entering the sport, not the old guard who’s lost a step. If anything, I think the McLaren blueprint is the way to go. It’s definitely a boom or bust strategy (as McLaren learned the hard way thanks to Honda), but that’s motorsport, isn’t it? No team will win without taking some risks.

    1. Andrew in Atlanta
      3rd May 2018, 22:28

      What McLaren strategy? There’s ZERO strategy there, they have no clue, fumble over themselves, promise the world and deliver nothing? They’re only ahead of Williams, over the last couple seasons, cause they have a driver who could race a door if given an engine and Claire can’t figure out what to do.

      Sorry but Williams is Old Yeller. Great, there may have been fun times but this dog can’t, and won’t, recover. They blame everything but themselves and place themselves in the upper level of car builders but nothing recently has shown they’re close. Past glories should stay with the high school kids and their sports stories. And those guys are as sad and pathetic as Williams are.

      At least Sauber doesn’t pretend their the best, they show up, race and go home, often with nothing to show for it. Other than time on track for the 2019 Haas driver Leclerc.

      1. He was talking about taking risks and do it by themselves like Ron Dennis did with the Honda gamble.

  18. The cynical amongst us may say that he is deflecting attention away from his sons lack of ability to get more out of the current car…..he is saying that the current Williams is in need of Mercedes input to be competitive….which means its not Lance”s fault that he has not done better……I bet Massa would have scored more points in it

    1. @jop452 – we wouldn’t say that would we?

      What we might say is that every time Papa Stroll gets ‘media time’ it reminds us in over 160 million ways how his son got into F1.

  19. To me this shows the negative of having (and pandering to) the big car makers who’ve bought themselves F1 teams, as they’ll run off if there’s a bad recession and their budgets are cut or withdrawn. We’ve already seen it with Honda and Renault in the last 10 years. Williams and McLaren will still go racing.

  20. McLaren was very succesful with a Mercedes engine and so can Williams. The problem is they need more money and better drivers… I would hate for Williams to loose their identity and go the Haas route. They still need better drivers.

  21. It sounds a bit perverse.

  22. Establish the Stroll GP F1 team as a Mercedes knock-off with Lance and Kubica as the driver pairing. I bet that team challenges for 5th in the 2019 WCC.

    1. So…those internet rumours of 6 other teams leaving F1 might be true…. ;-)

  23. Pretty sure Papa Stroll’s expertise in building a winning F1 team is right up there with his son’s F1 driving skills.

  24. EB (@ebchicago)
    3rd May 2018, 22:20

    Why would Stroll have to pay for it? HAAS is doing it to keep the budget down, Williams budget while on the lower end of the grid is still much higher then HAAS so if Williams went that route they should be able to without a huge cash infusion, quite the opposite they should save money.

    Maybe they can use the savings on better drivers.

  25. In the long run I see the strolls in nascar, get them away from f1 please, there money is not wanted here, we want talent. No matter how good a car Williams builds, it is not enough having a driver like stroll and his dad interfering in the companies operations.

  26. Stroll’s father he already done some abusing things with his money in past to make his son a winner. Half of the teams in f3 leaved the championship because they couldnt compete with his developing and testing money. So they decided to leave the championship and let the kid compete alone and win alone.
    He arrived to F1 with all his money, and he pretends to do the same tactic, buy his kid the top car of F1, so he has more options to win a race, a podium or a championship. Well he can do that, but F1 is not stupid, and top teams only hire talented drivers, not paid drivers. So he only could afford a midlevel team like Williams, the best his money could buy at that moment, now he wants to buy a Ferrari or a Mercedes, i dont think Mercedes, Ferrari needs his money, but who knows may be in future he buys a McLaren, which by the way are on the limit, with few sponsors, highly payed drivers doing nothing, and ridiculous development of car. That will make his son one step closer to be in a top team, ofc all buyed with daddy’s money

  27. This wouldn’t be an issue if Williams would actually get its act together.

    How many years have we been waiting patiently for them to bring a decent car to a season only to see them languishing towards the back of the midfield, particularly by season’s end.

    Williams needs to have a good hard look at every aspect of their design and engineering team. Somewhere in there is a problem that needs to be solved and quickly.

    1. @dbradock

      I was watching a youtube video of Christian Horner working in his office where he explained part of his job was answering emails from staff, it was easy he said, as he usually had to approve or disapprove of spending, so it was either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I imagine with their budget it was usually ‘yes’.
      With Williams I imagine it is too often, ‘no’.
      In another video, Nico Rosberg explained that some team’s departments were limited with what they can try, and went on to say at Mercedes they can do/spend/try whatever they want.

  28. The other thing Haas has, is drivers on th grid on merit.

  29. I like William’s pride and drive to keep components in house, but I would not be surprised if Claire eats her words and goes with Mercedes for a Haas-Ferrari model… Time tells all.

  30. He probably thinks it will give Lance a better chance of landing a Mercedes seat one day, such is their delusion.

  31. Williams are in such a bad position at the moment that in a few years they may not have a choice and will be forced into a Haas style situation. Everyone knows that Lance Stroll is at Williams, and in F1, due to his father’s money. It was the same with Pastor Maldonado and all the South
    American sponsorship money that Williams attained. They still parted ways with Pastor in the end, as they will with Stroll, because he is terribly overrated.
    Williams are in a mess, much the same as McLaren were in recent times. Both teams have an
    illustrious history, but so did Brabham and Lotus, and they are not in the sport anymore.
    Haas have succeeded greatly by being realistic, with their feet on the ground. They realized their strengths and accepted theirs weaknesses, and the mix they have concocted has so far bore fruit.
    With their only being four engine suppliers in the sport, smaller teams have limited options.
    By having closer ties to Mercedes, Williams will lose their status of being a true ‘independant’ constructor, but if that means their survival is assured I am sure they will go down that route.

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