Williams performance must improve in 2018 – Claire Williams


Williams Martini Racing. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Having not lived up to their own high expectations this year, the Williams Martini Racing team, and more specifically new Technical Director Paddy Lowe, have devised a plan to ensure that does not happen again next season.

The Brit was tasked with carrying out a thorough investigation of how the squad is being run on his recent appointment, in order to highlight the main areas of weakness, and where they must make changes if they are to return to being a championship winning team.

Williams had hoped to be challenging as at least the third best team in 2017, having reached those heights three years ago at the last change of regulations, after a number of seasons languishing at the back end of the grid.

However, they have fallen way short of that mark so far this year, and speaking at the FIA press conference on Friday, Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams said that must change.

Williams has full confidence in Lowe, who she sees as the key to the Grove based squad improving to top team status, having been at the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team throughout their recent dominance.

“As you would expect, someone of Paddy’s calibre has a plan.

“Ever since he joined us back in March this year he’s been undertaking a full analysis of the team back at the factory but also the race team operations on the ground track-side in order to understand where the weaknesses lie.

“We’ve gone through that as a board. Now we’re looking at how we allocate resources forward into 2018 so that we can address those weaknesses.

“A lot of our weaknesses appeared at the mid-point of last season and we can’t go into another season having the same issues we’ve had.

“So we have full trust in Paddy but also we brought in a number of other senior personnel to work alongside him.

“Dirk de Beer heads our aerodynamic department as well, he came from Ferrari this year to us. And some other senior engineers that are hopefully going to turn things around for us.

“But as I said we can’t have another year like this.”

Having experienced driver Felipe Massa sit out a race due to illness recently, has not helped their campaign, nor has having a rookie on the books in 18-year-old Lance Stroll, but they had still expected to be fighting with the likes of the Sahara Force India F1 Team for fourth spot, yet they currently sit fifty-eight points behind them in the constructors standings.

The Grove based squad certainly have the potential there to be a championship-winning outfit; as they have been on numerous occasions in the past, but extracting that performance and using it to their advantage has not been easy over the last few years, and now comes down to whether Lowe can work his expertise and magic, to allow it to shine through.