Claire Williams: “It’s going to be incredibly challenging this year”

The Williams team at the FW41 Launch
Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Images

Deputy Team Principal of Williams Martini Racing, Claire Williams, is determined to stay fifth or above in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship in what she foresees as a challenging year for the team.

Williams has lost ‘best of the rest spot’ in the 2016 and 2017 seasons to Sahara Force India F1 Team and this year will have to contend with threats coming from Renault Sport Formula 1 Team and McLaren F1 Team. 

Claire Williams knows the challenges the team is facing but believes that given the team’s resources and infrastructure, it should be able to produce a car that can fight with the teams around it in the midfield.

“I think it’s going to be incredibly challenging this year,” she told ESPN at last week’s launch event for the FW41. “McLaren has its new engine and Renault has invested heavily within the infrastructure in its team, I think there’s going to be a lot more competition out there, unfortunately, this year.

But then it’s our responsibility that they don’t overtake us in the championship, and equally, we’ve got Force India who is a fantastic team and absolutely deserve their P4 last year.

She was also reluctant to give too much away about the performance targets of the team but knows it is imperative that they do not drop below fifth in the Constructor’s Championship.

For us it’s about what we need to change and we are a big team and have been in the sport for more than 40 years now and we have the infrastructure, we have the people, we have 700 people working on our racing team and we should be able to deliver a competitive race car. That’s really what we have to be aiming for.

I’m not going to set any targets, I think it’s dangerous to do so, but we can’t finish P5 or lower this year.”