Williams F1 team principal Claire Williams has come under intense scrutiny following a succession of disappointing seasons. Finishing the 2019 campaign with a single point, the FW42 was plagued by myriad issues. Fundamentally lacking in handling and the aerodynamic design department. As a whole, Williams F1 has experienced very little success since Claire took over from father Sir Frank Williams. Martin Brundle had a few things to say.
This has led to many questioning team boss Claire Williams and the strategic decisions taken in terms of car development. Famed f1 pundit and former driver Martin Brundle was not one to shy away. Speaking to Motorsport Magazine, Brundle said, ““I’m not (in charge), and you don’t know what you don’t know,”.
Brundle added, “But I would ask Claire to move upstairs into a more presidential role and get in somebody like Andreas Seidl and give them full autonomy. F1 success is all about tomorrow, not yesterday,”
Martin Brundle spoke about Andreas Seidl, who was recently made team principal of McLaren f1. McLaren was in a similar predicament like Williams F1 but a major team reshuffle saw then team principal Zak Brown taking a step back and handing the reins over to Seidl. It also saw James key taking over as technical director ( formerly part of Scuderia Toro Rosso) , Gil de Ferran (Indy 500 winner) and Pat Fry taking charge as technical chief.
The consequence of these actions resulted in McLaren finishing 4th in the Constructors’ championship- a monumental step up from 6th in the preceding year. However, do keep in mind that double world champion Fernando Alonso was behind the wheel at the time. 2019 saw Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr and fresh faced rookie Lando Norris taking over.
The result? McLaren’s best finish since the introduction of the turbo hybrid era and a podium after 5 years.
Comparing Williams F1 and McLaren racing over two seasons shows how one team made the step up while the other slid down.
Case in point, Williams ended the 2018 season last in the Constructors’ championship-scoring 7 points. 2019 saw them repeat the same feat albeit with a single point. It also saw Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe being released.
Brundle could be alluding to the fact that it may be time for Claire to step down as team principal. Perhaps appointing someone else and following in McLaren’s footsteps could be the essential catalyst enabling Williams to rise through the ashes.