Claire Williams is optimistic that the FW43 chassis will be an improvement in 2020 F1 season than its predecessor in 2019.
The last several years have been disparaging for the once-dominant Williams outfit. The 2019 F1 season, though, happened to be their worst yet. Only one point was scored, which was purely circumstantial, and their car lacked pace at every point in the season.
This came after another abysmal year in 2018, but deputy team’s principle Williams is hopeful that the team’s 2020 F1 car, the FW43, will be an improvement on the chassis side, and not a backward step as seen in recent years.
Williams thinks the former is a possibility due to the restructuring the team underwent in 2019 with the departure of several figures, including Paddy Lowe. They also brought in co-founder Patrick Head in advisor role, to help in a revival.
“We have had two difficult years, but two difficult years doesn’t define a team,” said Williams to media including FormulaRapida.net. “And what I’ve seen in this team in 2019, is an extraordinary level of resilience and tenacity.
“But also a willingness to put in the hard work to turn things around. I’ve always said that work is never going to be the work of a moment. It takes time. But we have undergone considerable transformation with the team over the past 14 months.
“And we are seeing the dividends of that work starting to pay off now. We all have, as every team up and down the paddock has targets for 2020. We’re pleased and comfortable with those targets, where we are at the moment.
“But it’s always a challenge, I think for any team, to meet the targets that they set, it’s a challenge to get their cars ready for testing, but we have to get it right in 2020. And I believe that the FW43 chassis will be an improvement upon 2019.
“So, that’s what we’re all working towards back at the factory, at the moment to make sure that it absolutely is. We have to give George and Nicholas a car that they can demonstrate their abilities [in].” Another thing they will have to be sure is to have both cars ready.
In 2019, they were set back as they couldn’t get even one car ready for the start of the pre-season test. The team seems to be in a better shape as despite losing Unilever, they have Sofina Foods, Lavazza and Royal Bank of Canada as new partners.
Part of it goes to Nicholas Latifi’s move to a full-time race seat with Williams in 2020. The Canadian is to make his F1 debut and when asked by FormulaRapida.net about his thoughts as to where the team could be, he puts it on the ‘unknown’ category.
“I mean, the best answer to that will be when we get on the grid in Melbourne,” he said. “I think if we’re optimistic it’ll be a step forward, how much of a step forward? It’s difficult to know, so we expect all teams to make a step forward over the winter as well.
“So where that puts us, if we’re, if it shaves the gap, if we’re just ahead of a few teams, it’s all unknown at the moment.” As Latifi put it, it will be a big task for Williams to surge ahead in 2020, considering that the regulations haven’t changed much.
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Jame Chadwick continues with Williams in 2020
Nicholas Latifi doesn’t see age as a problem ahead of 2020 F1 debut
George Russell speaks of his learning from 2019 F1 season
Here’s news from Williams regarding sale of majority stake of Advanced Engineering
Dan Ticktum joins Williams alongside George Russell, Nicholas Latifi and Jamie Chadwick
The story was edited by Darshan Chokhani