Aero flaws hindered Williams performance in 2016 – Claire Williams

Claire Williams hopes Williams can improve in 2017 after struggles in 2016 with aerodynamics - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Claire Williams feels the disappointing season experienced by the Williams Martini Racing team in 2016 was down to flaws in the aerodynamics of their FW38.

The Deputy Team Principal of the Grove-based squad knows the team have lots to improve on after dropping to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship last season having been third in the previous two seasons, while they only visited the podium once throughout 2016, with Valtteri Bottas finishing third in the Canadian Grand Prix.

“You have to look at areas of weakness and Frank [Williams] has always said performance is aero, aero, aero,” said Williams to Autosport. “There are some fundamental flaws when it comes to the performance of the car from that aspect but that is not to point fingers at one department.

“There are areas to improve on across the whole team. If we were doing things perfectly, we’d be winning the world championship and we’re not.”

Williams has revealed that the struggles that affected the team in 2016 and left them fifth in the final standings behind the Sahara Force India F1 Team will reinvigorate them, and the focus is now on turning the next Williams into a car that works at all circuits.

Williams have traditionally struggled on slower tracks in recent years, while wet weather running has also being an issue for them, but there is hope these issues can be addressed heading into 2017.

“Some of our trackside operations haven’t been where they needed to be and our car doesn’t have the performance and pace we need it to have,” added Williams. “We have this situation at Williams where our car suits certain circuits more than others and we need to move away from that, we need to try and get a car that is balanced across all characteristics.

“We’ve had a bit of a dip this year but it reinvigorates you, not that we were resting on our laurels, it makes you look even harder and more closely at areas you need to improve on and that’s what we’re doing.”