Williams Martini Racing Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe believes that their poor 2017 season was not down to the car. Instead, he narrowed it down to the inexperienced Lance Stroll who was unable to extract the best out of the car. Stroll’s rookie season was a difficult one to say the least. He failed to finish the first three races and was out of the points in the next three. The Canadian finally opened his account at his home Grand Prix in Canada, followed by a third place in Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile, team-mate Felipe Massa delivered four points finishes yielding 20 points in the first six races. Lowe admitted that the team didn’t achieve their targets in the first half of the season. He said, “Some of [the missed results] is down to error here and there, operational issues, some of which was reliability which was not as good as we’d like. Some of it is the driver not being able to exploit the car that is available.”
He continued, “That’s pretty obvious in Lance’s case that that would have been the case for the first half of the season. He was getting up to speed in his first year of Formula 1, so that was all part of the process with him, and inevitably meant we weren’t scoring quite what we should and could have done. But in amongst that there were some terrific examples of Lance’s talent like Baku with his first podium, and Monza with his front row qualifying in the wet. In fact, that Baku podium result is the only non-top three podium of last year. So that was one example of displacing that lockout.”
Even though, Williams hired another rookie for the 2018 season, their approach remains the same, that it’s neither a short nor long game. The Englishman said, “As it has always been in this sport you’ve got to do the best you can with what you’ve got. We don’t have the resources of those teams at the front but we can always do more with what we have and then take it from there. Success breeds more success because it brings rewards and that’s the way forward”. Will the gamble pay off or will it be a repeat of their poor 2017 season?