Williams.... Where to from here?

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Everso Biggyballies
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Williams.... Where to from here?

Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

Williams.... Where to from here?

A situation I find very sad is the rapid decline of Williams over recent years. A far cry from the team I remember seeing transform from a Kit car F1 team arriving at Brands Hatch with a Transit van and an F1 car on an open trailer towed behind an ageing station wagon full of spares, through the arrival of Patrick Head and the transformation of the team with Saudia money and Alan Jones, Clay Regazzoni, not to mention cars of sheer beauty. (Yes I remember I whooped with joy standing at Silverstone when Clay won their first ever GP after Alan Jones retired from the lead with a water pump failure IIRC). Watching Sir Frank winning running marathons even. From that soon followed their first WDC/ WCC win with Jones, backing that up with another WDC win for Keke Rosberg.

The first ever 160mph lap at Silverstone in the years with the turbo Honda engine, the domination of the 90's, title wins for Piquet, Mansell, Prost, Hill, even JV. Surviving and fighting back to greater success after the terrible accident to team founder Frank Williams,

Even in the early noughties they were quick, but since say 2005 success has been little and far between for the team that still has more constructors titles than McLaren. Now just over 700 GPs on from when Williams started properly, 114 wins later they are not even a shadow of what they once were.

We now have a team that seems only able to make promises, with rookie drivers with more money than talent. The blind leading the blind in development terms, with an unlikely return wannabee in Kubica leading their development. He by his own admission does not understand the current tyres.This year has been simply appalling, and surely their performance at Monaco must be the nadir of their existence. Sirotkin performed well in practice and qualifying, looking no doubt at a points finish to turn the tide, but no the team fucked that up by not having wheels on the car 3 minutes before the off. Jammed wheelnut or not it was inexcusable, and the 10 second stop and go they earned for that destroyed their weekend, with the unimpressive Stroll whingeing his way to not even being able to catch him.

They entered this year with hope things would turn around. They had a hope with the appointment of Paddy Lowe, fresh from Mercedes success. They have the best customer engine available. But as soon as the first wheel was turned in testing it was clear that 2018 was not going to be better. The year started badly with news that their naming sponsor, Martini, would be bowing out at year end. It needs more than a billionaire father of a driver. And how long will he remain keen to continue with his son bleating and complaining openly about the team.

Is it really all about their limited budget? It seems they have more budget that the far more impressive Force India.

Last month they announced the departure of their chief designer Ed Wood, who left the team due to personal reasons. He was replaced by a chief engineer, Doug McKiernan, who has assumed full responsibility over the aerodynamic and design direction of the car.

Now this weekend I see they have lost their ex Ferrari head of Aero, Dirk de Beer. He has been replaced by another underling from within the team. It hardly seems that with relative lightweights as heads of departments that any turnaround is likely in the future.

So, what is the future for this once great and iconic team? Can they ever return to any of their former greatness? Can they even win another race? Hell, the way they went last weekend will they score points again? Currently they are well behind the recently traditional wooden spooners Sauber, with just one fairly fortunate points winning result to their tally.

What does the future hold for them? What should they do? Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? Is it the train coming the other way?

Discuss.....

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Post by Antonov » 1 year ago

the only way is up

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Post by John » 1 year ago

If Williams was a city, it'd be Detroit.
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Post by theracer120 » 1 year ago

Although they haven't won a race for a long time they have gone downhill in a big way this year. You only have to go back to 2014/15 to see when they were doing reasonably well, in fact they finished 3rd in points for both of those seasons.

Even with Stroll and Massa last year they still finished 5th in constructors points, this year they are dead last so far. In fairness to Lance he did have basically the same amount of points as Felipe last year and he did have that 3rd at Baku, although I do still think he and Sirotkin are a poor combination.

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Post by kals » 1 year ago

John wrote:
1 year ago
If Williams was a city, it'd be Detroit.
Don’t think Williams would appreciate a creepy stalker in the name of @Antonov

Joking aside, this isn’t unusual territory for Williams. They were in the same situation in 2013, 2006/7, etc...

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Post by Antonov » 1 year ago

I feel the departure of Pat Symonds might have hurt.

The utter superiority of the Mercedes engine dwindling certainly plays its role as well.

And the driver combination could have been a lot better (especially Stroll I feel).
But I don't believe for one minute that having Kubica in the car will make it suddenly better.

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

I have heard Stroll complaining in the last couple of races over seat problems, and it seems that there is a problem in this area. Apparently Sirotkin suffered over the weekend and Kubica also confirmed the problem.
Robert Kubica has admitted Williams' drivers are suffering from more than just a lack of pace in 2018.

In Barcelona, Sergey Sirotkin admitted he struggled throughout the weekend with "seat comfort".

"Let's say it this way to not upset anyone -- the problem is with seat comfort," said the Russian.

It is believed Lance Stroll is suffering with a similar problem, and Robert Kubica, Williams' reserve driver, confirmed the issue.

"We do not have too much comfort in this car, but it has been known since November," he told Eleven Sports.

"Problems have to be solved in the winter rather than pretending that everything is good to make it look nice politically.

"I do not drive, so I don't say anything else," the former BMW and Renault driver added.

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Post by John » 1 year ago

What is that problem exactly? Every single vibration bolting through the spine, or what? I mean, a F1 car is hardly known for it's plush seats to begin with...
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Post by kals » 1 year ago

Williams issues in 2018 are entirely their own doing, the drivers cannot be blamed. Both are reasonable drivers with decent backgrounds.

In 2017 (and previous seasons) the Williams was very slippery in a straight line. One of the fastest through the speed traps. Williams attempted to add downforce but created issues with an aero-stall, which meant no grip in the corners and they were also slow down the straights. In some of the prior races you could see Stroll and Sirotkin wrestling with the car in the turns. Sirotkin appeared to overcome some of the issues in Monaco, until the issue on the grid spoilt his race, and he subsequently said that he reckons Williams now have a handle of the aero issues.

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Post by John » 1 year ago

I must say I Sirotkin has performed way better than I expected him to do. In a miserable, difficult, heap of shit of a car, he seems to get on with it in a completely different manner than Lance Stroll does, and he handily outperformed Stroll at Monaco. If you look beyond a few unlucky penalties and his team constantly trying to screw him over during the weekend, he was really solid.
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Post by MonteCristo » 1 year ago

Antonov wrote:
1 year ago
the only way is up
Or... out.
Danny Ric in F1! Catch the fever!

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Post by kals » 1 year ago

John wrote:
1 year ago
I must say I Sirotkin has performed way better than I expected him to do. In a miserable, difficult, heap of shit of a car, he seems to get on with it in a completely different manner than Lance Stroll does, and he handily outperformed Stroll at Monaco. If you look beyond a few unlucky penalties and his team constantly trying to screw him over during the weekend, he was really solid.
Stroll's race performances have been much better than we appreciate. Sirotkin got a handle on the car in Monaco, whereas Stroll look lost (but that could be circuit specific). Both drivers are doing a better job than they're being given credit for.

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Post by myownalias » 1 year ago

Williams was the team, along with Nigel Mansell that peaked my interest in F1 some 25 years ago, so it's painful to see Williams slump to propping up the field this season. I truly hope that they can bounce back and start challenging for podiums and wins. Williams is such an iconic name in F1, much like McLaren, it seems to me that modern F1 is not privateer, or garagista team friendly, saying that HAAS seem to be doing OK on occasion.
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Post by Antonov » 1 year ago

Williams not so long ago was easily second best. They could even have won Silverstone 2015 (?) if it werent for Massa holding up team mate Bottas.

Something has gone drastically wrong in a relatively short period of time.
Hopefully a solution may also present itself in the short term.

That being said, I have never really been 'attached' to the Williams team for some reason.

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

Having witnessed them racing as a garagiste team in the early 70's, entering a Politoys and a March 711 at Brands for Pesca and Pace back in 1972, I have a special place in my heart for them.

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