Claire Willians, Williams, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Williams sees “green shoots of progress” at team

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In the round-up: Claire Williams says the team has fixed most of its mechanical problems and is now making gains with its aerodynamics.

What they say

Williams was asked if the team has a better understanding of what went wrong with its FW42 at the beginning of the season:

We knew pretty quickly where the performance deltas were and where we were weak. I think we’ve talked about those and we wouldn’t talk about them in huge detail anyway.

But it’s obviously to anybody that, with Formula 1 being such an aero-dominated sport anyway, we’re down on downforce and we need to do more work to achieve that. We went through a huge change in aero last year, bringing in a new chief aerodynamicist in Doug McKiernan who brought in a new philosophy to how we go about bringing aero performance to the car.

When you do that inevitably it’s going to take some time to bed in. You almost go back to basic principles which is what, in effect, the whole of aero did last year and they needed some more time. We are now seeing our aero performance curve go on an upward trajectory which is really good to see. That will come out over the next few races.

Then there have been some mechanical issues again which I think people are fully aware of that we are working hard to resolve. The majority of which we have resolved.

Everyone is working hard at Williams and I finally feel that we are starting to see some green shoots of progress. And we really are seeing that.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

It was hard to top this excellent first caption from @Tom-L in this weekend’s Caption Competition:

Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Silverstone, 2019

I’m very sorry, Max, my head’s just not in the right place today…

thanks to everyone who tried to beat it – including Nulla Pax, Roth Man and RP who also came up with great captions.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Phillip C’De Baca and Matthew!

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On this day in F1

  • 35 years ago today Niki Lauda won the British Grand Prix after a gearbox fault put his team mate Alain Prost out

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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18 comments on “Williams sees “green shoots of progress” at team”

  1. I really enjoyed the W series race, Alice Powell was absolutely on fire!
    It’s a nice novelty doing a reverse grid but I wouldn’t want them to do it every race as it would be unfair but it’s a great idea for a non-championship round. Maybe F1 should do it once a year as a non-championship round, test out a few other new rules pre season at Jerez or something?

    1. Yep, that W-Series was a good race and Alice Powell’s race was excellent, by anyone’s standard!

      Thought the reverse grid worked quite well.

    2. The race looked to be quite good yeah Daniel. But a huge shame the TV direction wasn’t better.

      We lost view of the leaders battling with a few corners to go. And we never saw how Chadwick got up to tenth while Visser got dropped to 14th after that second (or last) SC. Nor did we get a really good view of some of the incidents.

      I would also hope they find a better way to do the liveries to make it easier to keep the cars apart for next season. With the lacks in commentary (mixing up who does what) and lacklustre focus of TV direction it can be hard to follow who is where.

  2. I have always felt that winning from pole of a reverse grid race makes that win mean far less than winning from pole because you were the fastest over the weekend.
    it’s why the drivers who only even won reverse grid races in gp2 etc.. were never looked at as been as good as those who could qualify at the front & win based on pace rather than been slow enough to finish 8th in race 1.

    it’s a big part of why i just don’t like reverse grid races, never have & never will.

    hope its a format w series don’t adopt full time as the reverse championship order format they tried made it even more artificial & gimmicky as usual with the win feeling even less deserved. the slowest driver in the series starting from pole & winning feels like the least deserved & least special feeling win ever. certainly wouldn’t count it as a real win.

  3. So next year we get to see Williams on the podium or find out if they sacked the wrong person.

    1. Podium might be a bit of an overreach :)
      I don’t think they did the wrong thing by ending the relationship with Lowe. Were there a sense within the team that he was especially hard done by, I can’t imagine that not being reported on. I don’t keep on top of all the F1 news, but I certainly don’t recall seeing anything like that. In fact, I don’t recall hearing much of anything regarding internal rumblings at Williams. Maybe someone else can shed some light?
      I hope they can close up to the rear of the field by the end of the year, and maybe make some progress up the field next year. I’m not sure I think that’s likely, but I do hope it proves to be the case. I think in order to do that, they are probably going to need to replace Kubica though.

      1. Fair comment @bookgrub, but look at MacL. and that progress is without a top PU.

  4. Could Mercedes be planning a WRC campaign next year, and could VB be driving in it ? Might explain where the rumours are coming from.

    1. And could RBR be moving into iRacing with Verstappen; rumours see Kvyat promoted again.

      1. Do I detect a note of scepticism there?

    2. @hohum – a lateral move of that sort for Bottas would neatly sidestep the whole question of “but does Bottas really need replacing in F1?” and will also let the F1 team bring in a future talent to groom.

      1. @phylyp, exactly, and to speculate further ; I know nothing about current WRC specs and regs but the current AMG A class with 2L 415hp motor and 4 wheel drive would seem like a good basis for a rally car, further an FE team and a rip snorting petrol rally team would seem to cover all the development needs for MB’s road cars should F1 fail to excite in future.

  5. Amazing stuff again from Lando and Max on iRacing 24h of Spa! New generation of F1 drivers.

    1. Check out this article about how he uses a simulator at home to also practice for F1:

      Norris said he spent hours practicing on a custom-built simulator that was installed in his home in Guildford, England.
      Seidl said he appreciated Norris’ dedication.
      “He’s obsessed with the sim,” Seidl said. “He’s convinced, and we can see it, that it helps him prepare for the races, for him to feel sharp when he arrives at the track, which is in addition to the simulator work he does in Woking,” at the factory.
      “It’s great to see how this generation prepares themselves for this challenge in Formula One.”

  6. Those green shoots that Williams are nurturing will wither and die next year when the powers that be decide to change a few rules or change the tires

    1. Claire is talking about the topiary around the factory.

  7. LOL at the COTD.
    – As I stated elsewhere already, I wish more current-F1 drivers did sim-racing, and am surprised not even any other driver from the younger generation is into that.
    – Nice rally-driving there, I wonder how do the Yaris and Fiesta compare to each other driving-wise in his opinion.

  8. Oh Clare:

    we’re down on downforce

Comments are closed.