Paddy Lowe, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Williams have made “genuine progress” in Austria – Lowe

2018 Austrian Grand Prix

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Williams has made “genuine progress” at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, according to the team’s technical director Paddy Lowe.

Lance Stroll got his FW41 into Q2 at a circuit where, according to Lowe, the team expected to struggle.

“We’ve made some genuine progress, I believe,” he told media including RaceFans. “Whether that correlates to our results I don’t know for sure because I can’t know what others are doing. Every track is going to be different.

“We would have expected to be pretty poor at this track, to be honest. It was one of our worse tracks last year and many of the problems that we’re seeing with this year’s car are simply exaggerations of problems we had last year.

“We didn’t come here with any great optimism. So I think to see where we’ve landed yesterday and through today with some of the things we’ve done is encouraging. A small step in a good direction. we’re not going to rely on that in isolation as an indicator but we think we’ve solved some of the several problems we need to solve.”

“There are others who have less humility”

Earlier this week the team’s former driver Valtteri Bottas expressed his sympathy for the team’s current plight. Asked by RaceFans why Williams tends to be treated more sympathetically than rivals McLaren, another championship-winning team which is struggling this year, Lowe credited the legacy of team founder Frank Williams.

“My best answer would be you’ve got to go and look at the team and what it represents,” he said. “Most particularly look at Frank and what he created in this team.

“It’s a very well-respected team and I think the reason for that is Frank’s approach, his values, the way he’s approached motor racing which is instilled in the team and continued by Claire [Williams, deputy team principal] in a great way is a sense of sportsmanship and humility around what we do.

“I met Frank once in a hotel lobby when I was at McLaren and they’d had a really bad day, 10 or more years ago, and said ‘sorry about your bad day, Frank’. And he said ‘we were tested and found wanting’. That’s his attitude and it’s always been his attitude.

“I think there are others who have less humility who will blame anything else but themselves when having a bad day. So that would be my answer. I think the team reflects that and so many people respect and sympathise with us when things aren’t going well. And they then therefore don’t tend to bail in and tear us apart, that would be my answer.”

“This sport’s not always easy and we do our best to work through the bad days as well as the good ones.” Lowe added. “And it is a fact, in my experience, in Formula 1 that when you’re having good days you don’t often understand why that is even though you might pretend to do so.”

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Author information

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...
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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10 comments on “Williams have made “genuine progress” in Austria – Lowe”

  1. Great. I am sure there is noone who would hate seeing Williams do better.

    1. @jureo
      Depends. I, for one, feel that they’ve brought the current situation upon themselves.
      But yeah, I wouldn’t ‘hate’ them for performing better than they have done so far.

      1. I wish they were roughly .5s off Mercedes pace, discussing internally if better drivers would enable them a championship campaign.

        But hey, considering where they were any way is up.

  2. First Thought was Hahahahah oh wait they are serious. gniffel….

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    30th June 2018, 20:34

    Last to not quite last isn’t exactly a jump.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      30th June 2018, 21:00

      I think it is in a way. This track doesn’t suit Williams that well. Getting through to Q2 here is pretty impressive compared to at other tracks. So that is maybe why Lowe feels satisfied.

      1. I disagree, it’ss a track that rewards a good power unit. Look at the step Ferrari and Mercedes had relative to the rest of the field today. The fact Williams are second last really is not an achievement with the best power unit. It’s a circuit that plays to their strengths. Had it not been for yellow flags towards the end of Q1, they’d have had both cars eliminated.

      2. @thegianthogweed what track suits Williams well?

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          30th June 2018, 23:04

          Baku did reasonably.

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