Exclusive: Why Claire Williams is “really excited” about the future of F1’s last-placed team

RacingLines

Posted on

| Written by

Wind back the Williams clock by a decade, and the first thing that strikes you as the hands and months and years reverse is the number of technical directors the team has employed since 2009. No fewer than three after Sam Michael left the team during 2011, with the subsequent roll-call including Mike Coughlan, Pat Symonds and Paddy Lowe. The team currently has a vacancy at the top of its engineering structure.

That makes for an average of 2.5 years per period of office, excluding any ‘gardening leave’ periods. Given the evolutionary nature of F1 cars and the fact that newcomers generally rip up what went before in order to introduce their own concepts, it is little wonder that Williams has little continuity on the car design front, in turn reflected in the team’s recent downward performance spiral?

To recap: The team placed sixth (with customer Cosworth power) in the 2010 F1 constructors championship, ninth the following two seasons, eighth in 2013, then rose to two third places followed by a brace of fifth places before last big slump to last. This year the team lies tenth with a single point.

While statisticians point out that the average pans out at seventh over the decade – 6.8 to be exact – the fact is that sponsors and fans don’t quite see it that way, and hence the sport’s vicious circle kicks in. Modest results mean less revenues from both F1 and sponsors, leading to less budget spent on car performance, leading to disappointing results that in turn impact on revenues, and so on and so on.

It’s a very difficult spiral to exit, and one not made an easier by arguably the sport’s worst turnover of technical directors. Consider that Patrick Head, admittedly a director and shareholder, was technical director from 1978 to 2005, while at Red Bull Adrian Newey has been with the team since 2006, and was with McLaren for eight years before that – during both teams’ heydays.

Adrian Newey, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2019
Newey, once of Williams, shaped Red Bull into champions
Continuity is king, yet following a churn of four technical directors in a decade, Williams currently has no single head of its technical activities. Its heads of design (Doug McKiernan), vehicle engineering (Adam Carter) and trackside operations (David Robson) report directly to Claire Williams, the team’s de facto team principal.

Given this background it is no surprise to hear Claire Williams state that the (predominantly) family-owned team would rather operate in this manner than make a wrong hire at the top of its technical structure. Clearly, for whatever reasons, there have been a number of those over the decade. Still, the lack of a technical director does not mean that the team has taken its recent drubbing lying down.

“I have been saying, it’s not anything new, it’s not new news or it’s not secret, but I do genuinely believe that Williams has turned a corner,” she says during an exclusive interview in Hungary, conducted in her office in the team’s hospitality unit.

“I think the work that we have put in that people don’t get to see, because it is all behind-the-scenes stuff, then you want to believe that the work, the change that has gone on at Williams, which I am so proud of, that it’s all going to shape the future. And I’m really excited about this.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

She talks about a “new culture that’s been created”, of people promoted (mainly from within) and a “new generation of leaders within our business.”

She adds that the changes form part of a nine-month long change programme because it “was never going to be a quick-fix [to correct the spiral], because that’s just putting a plaster over stuff. We had to get to the root cause of all our problems and fix them. We feel that we have passed our point of return, we’re well down that path and we’ll start seeing the returns of that.”

Frank Williams, Williams, Silverstone, 2019
Founder Sir Frank Williams returned to see his team first-hand at Silverstone

In the course of the review process the company was restructured across most departments, and she has, she says, gotten to know and understand the people that make up Williams the team, Williams the company and contribute to Williams the culture.

“We’ll remain stable, from a structural perspective, moving forward, because I don’t think chopping and changing either is the best thing to do. You’ve got to make your change and then either believe in it and let it evolve and grow organically. And I think we have the right people now, doing the right jobs.

“I think there are a couple of areas where we need some bolstering, maybe at a more senior level, and other levels across the organisation.”

The current headcount of the team runs to around 550, with administration and allied services accounting for another 75 – mostly supporting the F1 operation – while sister company Williams Advanced Engineering employs another 325 heads, making for a total of almost a 1,000 people, or a 58-fold increase over the 17 people who made up Williams when founder Frank founded the company in 1977.

Still, despite 2021’s looming budget cap there is sufficient headroom to bolster individual departments, and the ‘right’ TD is surely one of those. The list of exclusions in the financial regulations, such as administration, marketing and hospitality, means Williams F1 will be able to recruit another 100 people or so before budget cap considerations kick in.

That said, how does the 2020 budget look, particularly in view of the team’s disappointing on-track results?

“We’ve had a healthy racing budget now for many years,” she says, “and I think that people quite like to have at least one team in this sport that they can use as a means by which they can talk about the negatives of this sport and this sport’s in trouble. I think that people are looking at Williams to use as that team at the moment.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“But, we’re a publicly listed company; everyone can see our results. We’ve had some really good years, made a profit over those years. 2020 and beyond are looking OK for us. This isn’t an easy environment to be in, trying to accrue huge amounts of sponsorship money to keep your racing team going, and so we’ve always had to be slightly creative when it comes to how we generate our income.”

Claire Williams, Mike O'Driscoll, Williams, Hungaroring, 2019
The team has finally had something to smile about recently
I point out that listed companies are required to make profits, whole race teams are expected to spend every spare coin on performance, so do the two really square up?

“On your balance sheets you don’t actually have to talk about it, what you’re actually going to be investing,” she counters, adding that “It’s all about the previous year. So you could actually put a little line on your annual results to say, ‘We’ve made that 10 million pounds profit and in the following year we are going to be spending on X, Y and Z.’”

I point out that Williams remains the only team on the grid still using a wholly aluminium gearbox casing, while the composites area is said to be in need of investment. Although the company’s regular posting of profits is impressive and points to tremendous financial discipline, the burning question is, of course: Is the team making sufficient investments for the future?

“We’re trying to. When you have a budget the size of ours, capital expenditure is something that is difficult to figure out. You always have priorities when you’ve got a budget the size of ours, but concedes that “prior to that [2013, when she and CEO Mike O’Driscoll took over the reins of the group] there was not the investment that needed to be made.

“You’ve got to prioritise.”

It is clear that Williams is holding out for 2021, when F1 faces all-change: “In 2021, from a cost cap and prize fund distribution perspective, it can be very positive for us as the first years start playing out,” she says.

Robert Kubica, Williams, Silverstone, 2019
Rokit was quick to extend its sponsorship deal
But, of course, the trick is getting there: “We are very lucky with the partners that we do have and that they are incredibly supportive. I haven’t had any complaints from any of our partners this year about our performance, and I think that probably says a lot and is testament to the work that our marketing group do to deliver value in other ways, other than just what’s going on on the race track.

“[Title sponsor] Rokit, in particular, joined us last winter, and they knew that we’d come last in the championship and yet they’d partnered with us. It’s not an insignificant partnership, it’s a big partnership and as everybody has seen they’ve just extended that partnership for another two years, which is great.”

Like most non-manufacturer outfits, Williams is worried that the 2021 regulations – financial, sporting and financial – will be diluted before coming into force, likely at the insistence of the Big Guns, who have arsenals made up of threats and, in the case of Ferrari, a veto.

“Yes, I am,” she says without pause. “I was advocating that we signed the financial regulations. The sporting and technical weren’t where they needed to be. But I didn’t quite understand why we didn’t sign those [financial regulations].

“They were ready as far as I was concerned. Of course I have concerns that, you know, four months in Formula One is a long time to allow people to potentially get things changed. I hope they don’t, because I think [it’s crucial] for the future sustainability of this sport, or at least for some teams within it.

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up

“So all I hope for is that we produce a set of technical regulations that allow better racing and therefore create a better sport and therefore a better show for our fans. Because at the end of the day the fans are really all that matter, because if we don’t have them, we don’t have a sport and we don’t have racing teams and we don’t have our jobs.”

George Russell, Williams, Hungaroring, 2019
Williams hopes the 2021 rules will help it comepete again
Do the 2021 technical regulations – what is known about them thus far – work for or against the Williams business model, which is to be fully-fledged independent constructor rather than picking and choosing bits from across the grid? Particularly when it comes to the the four parts categorisations previously described in this column?

“Yes, they do,” she says before adding the rider: “We haven’t seen them in their entirety yet so it’s difficult to actually judge whether they do or not. But we’re thinking about standardisation, we’re thinking about the prescription parts…

“We obviously want to see, as an independent constructor, anything that is a performance differentiator [as being included in the list of parts we need to design ourselves], because that’s the DNA of our sport.

“When it comes to standardisation, I think [where] it makes sense financially and the teams currently may or may not do these [parts] themselves, as long as it is not detrimental financially to a team, I think that’s a good thing.

“With standardisation and standard parts we can go and buy off the shelf, if they’re not performance differentiators, then it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of thousands or millions on certain components in our race cars.

“So, I think if there’s sensibility around those four [parts categories], then I think that we would be happy.”

The wider question of Formula 1’s sustainability – the environmental aspect – is one Williams clearly has given much thought to. “We need to be very careful moving forwards with some decisions that we take,” she opens.

“We don’t talk enough about what we have done to make this sport greener. That is the image, isn’t it? It’s people thinking Formula 1 is a gas-guzzling sport, and we haven’t done enough to stamp out that image and actually talk up the real positive steps forward that we’ve made, particularly [with] these new power units.

Claire Williams, Frank Williams, Silverstone, 2019
Williams is continuing the family business
“Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested into them, the technologies within them will filter down into the road manufacturers. We don’t talk about them and we should.”

She provides a topical example: “One of the conversations on the table at the moment is refuelling. I don’t see how that does not completely contradict and take us 10 steps backwards from what we are looking at trying to promote this sport and the virtues of F1 from an environmental perspective.”

As for the future of her family’s team it’s clear that – listed company or not and notwithstanding its present difficulties – she believes totally in its future.

“The Williams family have never taken any profit out of our racing team; it all goes back into it. Every single penny that we have goes into F1, and it’s our mission now, moving forward, to ensure that we tackle those areas potentially that we have across the business that we need to improve.”

With George Russell’s bravura performance in Hungary last weekend, and Robert Kubica’s breakthrough point the week before that, perhaps the first signs of that improvement are begin glimpsed.

RacingLines

Browse all RacingLines columns

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

40 comments on “Exclusive: Why Claire Williams is “really excited” about the future of F1’s last-placed team”

  1. Claire only get bad reputation for all wrong thing Williams did and facing all Principal problems but not having its power. Frank should retired.

    1. Oh boy….I hope the summer break does not get filled with senseless, la-la-land, wishful thinking articles such as this. Claire Williams is the public face of an F1 Team in clear free fall. The corporate culture of the Williams organization to ALWAYS seek the CHEAP solution is totally incompatible with the F1 business context. They succeed while they had talent in designing and driving cars. The talent and performance brought great partners, but once they got started in this downward spiral of no results leading to no meaningful sponsorship, leading to no performance leading to no results, leading to….it is OVER. It is JUST A MATTER of time until the team gets sold or disbanded. No matter how much wishful thinking Claire Williams display.

  2. I always love to see what great addition @dieterrencken was to this site: great interview as always, Dieter!

  3. I’m not sure I would want to be making interviews like this one if I was running a team with such a long run of difficulties. I’d rather have a string of on-track performance improvements before coming out with all this positive Spiel.

    I feel quite bad saying it. I only wish the best for Williams.

    Perhaps it’s just part of the job and you have to do interviews. Perhaps it’s good because it’s more exposure for the sponsors. I don’t really know. I just seems like the time for words is long gone.

    1. @shimks – I think there are many people like you and me who would prefer to see on-track success first, and then hear from them about how they went around achieving that. Dazzle us with your magic, and then, if you wish, explain your trick. McLaren did exactly that this year.

      I think one reason Claire might have consented to an interview like this to Dieter (and maybe few other select media) is to head off unwarranted speculation during the summer break – a time when otherwise rumours can grow, and generate negative press.

      1. McLaren did exactly that this year.

        They did a lot of interviews during the Honda years to announce that it was going to get better, they weren’t much on track results to back that up. Or as soon as they had a slightly better result, they were all out with “We are on the right track” only to be corrected at the next race. Hopefully, this is genuine from Williams. Russell has been a great surprise in Hungary and let’s hope it’s not a one off.

        On another topic, I wonder if sponsors do not prefer a team like Williams than Haas or RacingPoints. By being last and being Williams, they still get quite a lot of exposure as media and fans want them to get better and to know what is happening. Maybe not on track but except Mercedes, RedBull and Ferrari, the others don’t get much either (except for the occasional overtake).

    2. Agree very much with this post. I am not misogynistic & have long been a Williams fan but I do wish Claire would produce results before opening her mouth.

  4. She says exactly what one would expect her to say at this point in time, doesn’t she. Clearly a lot hinges on how 2021 shapes up…and not just for Williams: http://www.gpfactsandnumbers.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/2019-Daniele-Audetto.pdf

  5. “I point out that Williams remains the only team on the grid still using a wholly aluminium gearbox casing, while the composites area is said to be in need of investment.”

    This is the root problem in Williams. They are the only team, who does things their own old fashioned way.

    They want their own gearbox, yet their gearbox has an inferior casing. If aluminium was better than carbon composite top teams would copy them at once.

    Who knows what kind of trade-offs they are making when they develop aero parts, overall construction of the chassis, etc.

    End result is rather simple, they are last by a wide margin. They are working super hard to still be last.

    1. Yeh they should buy a complete car from another team which they have zero understanding of like Haas.

    2. @jureo Yeah this where it’s actually good to have some staff turnover; bring in people with knowledge of what other teams are doing. You need fresh people to bring fresh ideas and reinvigorate the team (particularly engineers). This is no different to any other business; same concept applies.

      Businesses which forever look internally to promote are slow to change with the times. It’s not good for the staff (their learning, skills, motivation) and it’s not good for the business.

    3. @jureo, when you say “old fashioned”, you have to bear in mind that the use of carbon composite materials to construct the gearbox is not that old.

      The earliest example was BAR in 2004, but it took quite a few years for it to become more widespread as, initially, most teams did find it preferable to use titanium or aluminium cases instead – carbon composites do come with additional complications associated with bonding the metallic parts to the composite materials, creating potential issues with leakages.

      It’s why, into the 2010’s, a lot of teams only partially used composite materials to construct the gearbox, with critical areas still being constructed from aluminium or titanium – even major teams, such as Ferrari, continued with that approach at least until 2012. There are also other examples of teams using metal casings until fairly recently too – the Mercedes W01 through to W03 used aluminium casings, whilst Renault was using titanium until 2018.

      Basically, the use of fully composite gearbox casings is a slower and more recent conversion of most of the grid to using that technology than you might think – the use of an aluminium casing isn’t really that “old fashioned”.

      1. 2004 Is not that old? @anon then what is old? In F1 2 years old is ancient history. 2010 is almost last decade. 2010 was when Williams was still competitive.

        Mercedes W01-W03 were not competitive with those aluminium casings.

        Renault is still not competitive despite their use of titanium parts.

        In F1 1 year is old car. If most competitive teams are doing something better that means there is a performance deficit in whatever simpler tech Williams is doing.

        Same is probably for all other components. Slight deficits over entire car resulting in finally missing performance. Then to compound the issue they are outside tire range and whole package just falls apart after that.

    4. Given that Williams is the only team to have both cars finish all races this year, I cannot see why the comments here are so negative about the aluminium casings for the gearboxes.

      There has been an acknowledged fundamental problem with the car this season as alluded to by George Russell, but it is predominantly a lack of grip and downforce, therefore the 100% reliable gearbox and its casing quite clearly is NOT THE PROBLEM.

      I am sure the priority for most of this year has been to fix what hasn’t worked so far, which seems to me to be an extension of the 2018 car problem which quite clearly the former Technical Director, Paddy Lowe, who oversaw both cars didn’t get satisfactorily resolved.

      Having spent the last 30 years of my career in the manufacture of automotive components, both mass production and low volume bespoke parts, the solution to any problem is to fix the fundemental issue, not mess about changing the material composition i.e. aluminium/composite casing of what clearly does work.

      In my opinion, this is exactly what the Williams Team are doing and better results will follow.

  6. She does some talk, the article fills it up…with their opinion. clickbait title “why insert writers opinion is right opinion”. Why? This no bbc. Dieter is too professional.

  7. She keeps making the same promises about amazing future development and great/bombastic/super-duper progress which is just around the corner for 2-3 years now…like seriously, stop insulting our intelligence with this nonsense. Unless her denial is that severe.

  8. At what point must the boss take responsibility for failure? If Williams can’t make their car faster than it went last year, yet again, then sooner or later Claire has to accept that someone else needs to run the team.

    1. But Claire doesn’t run the team fully, does she? She’s officially deputy team principal, because Frank’s name is still very much above the door and he isn’t budging for anyone. He said as much in a recent piece for Sky Sports.

      It’s well known he didn’t even want her as a deputy. (Williams documentary that aired not so long ago). I fear many of the issues are down to the fact that Frank still has the final say, compounded with a need to take a pay driver. It’s to be hoped Patrick Head being dragged back in don’t compound this. Though it’s always going to be hard to know who has been responsible for improvements as teams shroud everything in secrecy.

      I personally hope they can hold out until 2021 so that the new regs give them a better chance of competing. More immediately, I’d love to see some of the correlation improvements push them a few rows further forward to show some progress. I believe George can make the car do things it’s not supposed to do if he has something a little better than he currently has. With a following wind, a steady improvement and some luck, Hungary’s quali doesn’t have to be a one off.

      1. Given all the hoo-ha with Rich Energy looks like they dodged a bullet as well! Hope RoKit are around to stay – could be a good partnership if there’s money to be invested.

      2. @muzza

        …Frank still has the final say.

        No disrespect to Frank, but looking around at the other teams (particularly Mercedes and Red Bull); they are all lead by young(ish) energetic individuals.

        I think Frank is long past his prime and is now operating well outside his capability. It’s sad, but the sport has moved on and he’s been left behind. Time to honourably exit and allow someone with conviction to take full responsibility.

        1. Rhys – maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. Who really knows? With no apparent clear team leader at the head of the table it’s hard to know who should be held responsible for performance issues.

          Reading between the lines and even then we are surmising, did Paddy Lowe’s departure mean the finger of blame for the car’s poor performance and late delivery of parts lay with him and him alone? Did he try to do a Mercedes scale job despite knowing he didn’t have Mercedes money and resource numbers to play with?

          Did Rob Smedley before him really want to spend more time with his family and seek challenges elsewhere than trackside? Or were both movings on PR speak for we thank you for your contribution but you’re part of, if not the whole problem…

          As I said before we’ll never know and probably most of the team don’t know the goings on around that top table.

          The Williams documentary gave me a new found respect for Claire, thrust into a role she was proud to do her level best in, that neither her dad, nor her potentially envious brother thought she should have.

          It was obvious she has limited autonomy to truly lead the team because Frank still has final say and is as resolute/stubborn as he ever was when he ran the team single-handed last century.

          Perhaps Frank’s survival at all costs mantra is too deeply embedded in the team’s psyche now but I fear the opportunities to really exploit something the others haven’t seen is not really there for a back-marker team. I think Claire’s focus on making it through to 2021 where things will get better for the team are an indicator that this may sadly be the case until then.

          2021, I guess, is the next real chance for another Brawn blown diffuser moment of canny genius.

  9. Williams isn’t the only team to have gone through a series of team principals though. In the last ten years, Ferrari have gone from Stefano Domenicali, to Marco Mattiacci, to Maurizio Arrivabene, and now to Mattia Binotto (whom I hope will stick around for a while).

    Ferrari hasn’t had the success of Mercedes in that time, but they also haven’t had the downward spiral of Williams. Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking, but I think Claire is onto something with her approach regarding deeper issues that existed in the organization. The best TP in the world would appear useless with a poor culture, poor processes, etc. Now whenever they fill that position I think they’ll be in a much better place.

  10. I don’t comment regularly but read this site daily. However I feel I need to say something about Williams.

    Every year we hear the same old thing from Williams “exciting announcement” or we have a “reason to be excited for the future” however, i think Williams as a team need to really think about it…

    Williams seems stuck in the 50’s+. Formula one has gone beyond being a family run company. As much as i respect Claire for stepping up, she isn’t what the team needs. I appreciate she’s the daughter of Frank but she isn’t a team leader. She is at best, a face for the company and for women in the sport. (No sexism intended)

    Their car was great back when they seemed like the Mercedes B team and had a few podium finishes but they have dropped back since and now McLaren have really shown me that Williams mistake is keeping the family within the business. Settle back, take a backseat and bring a team in (or at least a team principal) and let them make the team a great success again.

    It’s unlikely that they will win races in the near future but they should at least be midfield considering their pedigree.

    Russel and Kubica (ok, i know we have questions regarding his physical situation) are a good pair and I’d like to see great results for the team. They have the mo ey to take on gold drivers but the team in the back aren’t up to scratch.

    Good news or not, i dont want to see the Williams brand out of formal one. But i would be happier to see the family take a backseat.

    It’s still their team. But sometimes owners need to step back when it’s too much for their capabilities.

  11. Im rooting for her and williams hopefully she can bring the team back to winning days

    1. Having been to the Williams factory on one of the Raceday Hospitality events and seen the effort and determination of the workforce, I wonder if any of the other commentators on this interview have or are merely armchair experts. To do what Sir Frank and his colleagues and employees have done over the last 50 years, developing a profitable, financially secure business with nearly 1,000 personnel is an astonishing achievement.

      Yes there have been significant problems at Williams, many are the result of having a budget about a third of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull yet the team continue to race and are seemingly on their way back into midfield contention. As George Russell said of this years car, it has a fundamental problem of which they are fully aware of, but are not going to talk about publicly. In an ultra competitive environment this is easy to understand.

      There is clearly a strategic , plan and highly competent management in place. If there weren’t then Claire Williams and their marketing team would not be able to obtain the sponsorship they do.

      Transfer the “sporting failure” to another sport, perhaps Manchester United is a good example. There Sir Alex Ferguson had many successes in his 28 years with his team, but he was always rebuilding and additionally had to contend with the Glazer family milking the business financially in a way that the Williams family don’t.

      Would MUFC be successful long term with Sir Alex back at the helm? Probably not, but he is on hand to advise.
      Similarly would the past experience and expertise Sir Frank Williams and Sir Patrick Head achieve anything the current management team cannot do? I doubt it.

      I continue to support both teams and wish Claire Williams and all the Williams team success with rebuilding their team just as much as I look forward to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team returning MUFC to the previous levels of success.

      I now expect to get flak from those who disagree with my footballing preference. C’est la vie!

      1. Ironically in football and the Premier League, especially, teams exist at different levels of the competition and that’s fine for them. So I think your analogy works.

        Leicester’s shock win of the league a few years back was one of those one in however many unbelievable odds events that can happen but doesn’t regularly.

        Regularly at the start of the season there are 4 or 5 teams who are likely to battle for the league. And that’s OK because the presence of TV money makes survival in the premier league a business in its own right. In F1 it’s effectively 3 right now (Ferrari, Merc and Red Bull).

        I guess the teams who aren’t in with a shout of a WDC or WCC have to look at the sport as a means of competing but doing that as a business. With a view at some point they may get an opportunity to do a Brawn. Competing and making a profit shouldn’t be mutually exclusive in that scenario though, I feel.

        1. @muzza

          Football teams can win purely through determination of the players because they all use the same equipment. This happens in matches all season long all over the world.
          This isn’t possible in F1.
          Comparisons to together sports are also impossible. The hard truth is that F1 is an engineering and computer software demonstration.

          1. @bigjoe if you mean the football is a regulation one then yes it is the same equipment. But teams have different spending power and different backroom teams of differing expertise, skill and knowledge.

            For everyone outside of the top 6 in the Premier League survival or mid-table is the goal, I guess what I was trying to get at is not every team in the Premier League is in it to win it. Similarly I personally think an F1 team that is honest with itself won’t always be in with a chance of winning the WCC or a WDC.

            McLaren have eventually got to that place – they’re acknowledging that they’re a good 3-4 years off challenging.

            I just don’t see what’s wrong with Williams being there as well.

  12. Pfft. Remember when Claire said “We think customer cars go completely against DNA of F1”, forgetting Williams entered the sport via customer Brabhams?
    Claire has no credibility and it shows on track.

    Sad :(

  13. Very insightful.
    If she’s excited, we should be excited. Good news is around the corner or the next one, perhaps even the third corner.
    Her enthusiasm is infectious.

  14. Ive said this before and I will say it again. Williams’ are living in the past. Their whole “we are an independent team” romanticism is exactly what it is..romantic.

    The this about the aluminium gearbox says it all. What Williams are doing is akin to driving of the edge of a cliff, pedal to the metal. With the financial environment they’re in, perhaps adopting a hybrid version of the Force India/Haas model and their own may have been better? As opposed to their unrelenting stubbornness of doing everything by themselves?

    The 2021 financial regulation isn’t going to make any difference. The likes of Ferrari, RB and Merc will be too difficult to police due to the sheer size of their organisations. If Williams are pinning their hope on the “fairer” distribution as a means to being more competitive…I wouldn’t hold my breath. When was the last time Williams were successful (winning races)? When they were a works team . You can’t regularly challenge if you aren’t a works/supported team, or unless you’re owned by a Billionaire.

  15. One of the best interviews I’ve read for quite a while.

    No spin, no bull, no throwing anyone under the bus and a very frank assessment of what is likely to happen because the financial regulations weren’t signed off when they could have been.

    It’s going to take quite some time for them to move up the field butI wish them well and admire the fact that they’re not going to compromise their corporate philosophy trying some “quick fix”.

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Williams was the successful tenderer for some of the “standard parts”

  16. Hamilton and Newey to give their services for free for the 2021 season, forming a British super team?

  17. I’ve had the sense that Williams has been “treading water” for some time already waiting to see if the 2021 regulations shake things up enough to allow them to return to competitiveness. Survival and saving money seem to have beeen the top priorities.

  18. Claire Williams should open a chair saloon rather than be a boss of F1 team. She lays to the camera all the time, she expects all the team to say all the positive things about the team even though everything falls apart including car (just one naturally), and all she cares about is the sponsors not the sports results. Can’t wait for Williams to go bust.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.