Spring is coming , Albert Park is almost an circuit again, and the teams are ready for the start of the season as do the fans. However, is Williams ready for 2019? I’m not convinced Williams will appear on the start grid in Melbourne as the competitive team it used to be. I believe the team is far from ready for the new season.
I have never been a fan of the Williams team, I don’t like their approach in the Formula one towards their drivers as example, though Williams is one of the teams that earned their respect during the years. Williams appeared for the first time on the grid in 1969 as Frank Williams Racing Cars. Williams bought an BrabhamBT26A for Pierre Courage the name Williams was set in the Formula one.
After a decade the team was finally way on the road to the top. Backed by Saudi money Williams Grand Prix Engineering was able to design, under the lead of Patrick Head, Grand Prix winning cars. We all know what happened with the team between 1979 and 1999. And later in the Williams-BMW era with Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya the team showed it was still capable to win races.
It took a while for the team to recover from the poor period 2006-2013 when the team used several engines(Cosworth, Toyota and Renault) and struggled on the track, also the quality of their drivers was poorly with drivers who would normally drive for teams as Haas and Racing Point. Though season 2014 and 2015 were hopeful both years the team finished as third in the championship.
A fter 2015 it seems the team lost course, partly because Frank Williams was less involved with the team, partly because of budget issues and it seems as well the team forgot how to design a proper car to score podium places with. And with the loss of Felipe Massa in 2018 Williams lost also the experience in the car, we should not forget that Massa was already done racing in the Formula One in 2017.
Last year was probably the worse season the team ever experienced. The team struggled terribly with the car, and the drivers were not able to score decent results with the FW41, with the sad result of five championship points. This mean the best result was a ninth place. If you compare the results of the FW41 with the FW04 from 1976, which was one of the worse seasons for the team (as the car was two years old and basically from Wolf), you will understand in what situation Williams is in. With today’s point system the team would have scored 14 points…
During the winter testing the team appeared too late on the track because the car was not ready. Paddy Lowe is close to leave the team as technical director, and Robert Kubica said in the media he is just 20% prepared for the season. Will Claire Williams be able to bring the team back to its glory days or will the team disappear from the grid or will it be taken over by some consortium?
For 2019 the team has a new main sponsor with RokIt and with Russell as a new talent Williams could score some good results, if the FW42 is proven to be a stable factor for the drivers. In my opinion the FW42 will not score magnificent results the first four races as the team needs to develop the car more. I would personally ditch Robert Kubica, as I believe they only contracted him for the publicity, and put Ocon in the car. Yes many Max “Fans” will disagree with this but Max is far from holy himself.
I truly hope Williams will find their way up, and will be able to score more than the five points on 2018. The engine is one of the best, the problem is the car. Perhaps if Williams is able to score at least with one car every race points the team will get more confidence and will be able to develop the car. If not, im afraid Lowe will be ditched and more people will need to leave the team as well. Lets hope Williams will find the way up during the season, and will be able to end up at least once on the podium.