WILLIAMS RACING:BACK IN THE GROVE?

Williams Racing remained at the rear of the field in 2020. The Grove based team were unable to score any points during the 2020 season. Although they were at the rear, they were not un-competitive, there was a marked improvement from the 2019 season.  

Williams were part of “Formula C” along with HAAS and Alfa Romeo. With Latifi and the talented George Russell they kept themselves closer to the points than before. If it wasn’t for a mistake by George Russell at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, when he lost the rear of his Williams while behind the safety car (it was Ericsson’s fault), Williams would have secured their first constructors points in quite some time.

George Russell’s FW43 lies stricken at the side of the track after crashing behind the safety car.

George Russell is a massive plus point for Williams . The talented driver was in his second year of his Williams contract and has shown flashes of brilliance in an uncompetitive car, it will only be a matter of time before he is at the front of the grid.

Dorilton Steps In

Williams Racing has been fiercely independent since their debut in Formula 1 at the 1977 Spanish Grand Prix, however this ended in 2020, when the Grove based F1 team were sold to US Investment firm Dorilton Capital. The firm bought Williams Racing for £135.5million. This marked the end of an era for both Formula 1 and Williams. 2021 will be the first full year of the Dorilton Capital ownership. The new owners will be hoping to see some progress for their investment. It will be a long road, however it looks like they are going in the right direction.

Jost Capito joins the company as the CEO, with Simon Roberts as the Team Principle. Jost Capito comes over from Volkswagen Group, he has had some experience of Formula 1 as the COO of Sauber. In 2016 he was part of the McLaren team as Chief Executive.

“the final objective must be to win races and to win championships. The new owners are fantastic people, they really want the team to be back on the top of formula 1, they support on the financial side and on the mental side. They are the basis that the team can move up the grid on”

Jost Capito, CEO Williams Racing

Simon Roberts took over as team principle from Claire Williams when the team were sold. His position was confirmed when Jost Capito was confirmed as the CEO.

The FW43B, new owners, new era, new(ish) car.

The FW43B was launched, initially under a new augmented reality app, that would have allowed fans to place the car in their living room or on their driveway, however this was scrapped on the day of the launch after the app had been hacked. Williams had to resort to releasing images of the new car via their social media channels.

The FW43B, a new Livery for the new era.

The car has a fresh new livery with a predominantly white front moving to a dark blue at the rear. The team have incorporated some yellow to the livery as a nod to the glory years of the early 90s.

Williams, as with all other teams only have 2 tokens to use to develop the car, they wouldn’t confirm where they used them, although they did admit that one token was used last year after the cut off for new parts in September.

“Because it is a carry over and homologation it gives everyone a second or third chance to go around their components and we haven’t missed a single opportunity. We’ve taken the weight wherever we can. Obviously some things are homologated but there’s still plenty of opportunity. We managed to get the car where it needed to be from a weight point of view, and its really good to be able to start this year with ballast on the car”

Simon Roberts, Team Principle, Williams Racing

Williams Racing will also be bringing a aerodynamic upgrade package to the Bahrain test, showing that they are looking to develop the FW43B for some of the season.  

Williams have the Mercedes power unit and for the first time in a long time a decent amount of investment, this should see them push closer to the points.

2021 looks like it could be a good season, they will be optimistic that they can bring home some points, which doesn’t seem to be an outlandish goal.