Claire Williams has insisted that the team is not writing-off the 2019 and 2020 F1 season for 2021 as it pushes on for mid-season upgrades for performance.
It has been a tough start to Williams 2019 F1 campaign as it sits last in the standings but more importantly, it is far off from even the ninth placed team in terms of pace. The lap times are generally slower but it seems like they are catching up.
While they battle through with finances, smart investment is required which is why the question was put forward, if Williams will put its resources more into 2021 for the big change or will it continue to push through in 2019 and 2020 as well.
The answer though was clear from Claire as she reiterated that 2019 and 2020 will not be a write-off for Williams to get ready for 2021. She insisted on pushing through to get the team back in shape and revealed of mid-season upgrades to up the performance.
“No, nothing is a write-off at Williams, ever,” she said. “It never has been and it never would be, regardless of where we are. It’s just not our mindset a Williams. We don’t write a season off just because we aren’t doing well.
“For us, at the moment, we’re really looking at 2019 and 2020 very much as almost two seasons, where it’s just evolution and development and we’ve just got to keep bringing performance at each and every race, and we’ve definitely seen that we’ve done that.
“I definitely feel that we can see some light at the end of the tunnel now and I think probably just from the time sheets and the last race in Barcelona, we demonstrated that we are closing that gap.
“It may be slow but we all know that it takes time to bring performance to your car. There’s definitely a lot of good work going on back at the factory that people may not necessarily be seeing yet.
“The aero team are doing a great job finding performance in the tunnel and we’re going to be bringing that to races over the coming weeks and months with a package coming mid-way through the season that we will hope will bring some significant performance to us.
“Yes, there are definitely signs of improvement. I think there’s a certain positivity in the team at the moment. Morale is still pretty good, and that’s all we can ask of everyone: just fighting hard, not giving up and keep on brining performance to the car.
“We’re closing the gap to the ninth-placed team and we’ve got to keep doing that as the season progresses and we’re looking at obviously what 2020 looks like from a development perspective, what we’re going to be focusing our resources and attention on, to make sure that we certainly do a whole lot better job next year for us.
“And then again, we’ve got to look at 2021 and make sure we’ve got the right resources in place and the focus in place to take advantage of that situation. Clearly, as everyone knows and have talked about a lot, 2021 could be a really great opportunity for us with the cost cap that’s coming and with whole new technical regulations.”
While they are still off the pace of Mercedes but as Claire suggested the times in Barcelona looked much better to its closest rivals. It looks same in Monaco but the circuit is not hugely representative to differentiate or gauge the actual pace.
Aside the teams performances, her leadership has been in question as they got co-founder Patrick Head back as a consultant. While it isn’t officially confirmed but technical head Paddy Lowe seems to have left the team and is serving his gardening period.