‘All of That Sh*t Falls On You’ – Claire Williams on Her Lowest Moment in F1

February 28, 2021 6:29 pm

Nobody personifies a fall from grace in F1 quite as Williams Racing Team does. They used to be the standard-bearer of the sport in the 1980s and the 90s, winning a plethora of world championships. Unfortunately, they couldn’t even muster a single points finish last season and were ultimately sold to Dorilton Capital in a bid to have a fresh start.

However, the wounds are still a little fresh. Former deputy team principal Claire Williams bore the brunt of the team’s failures, sometimes unfairly.

But amid all the misery, what was the exact point where she felt like she hit rock bottom?

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 12: Nicholas Latifi of Canada driving the (6) Williams Racing FW43 Mercedes on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

“My lowest point was not getting the car to testing, and that was a team effort. But at the end of the day, I was the TP (Team Principal), the deputy and you know, all of that sh*t falls on you when you’re the boss. And you have to take the good with the bad.

“So, that was the worst time,” Claire told Aurélie Donzelot in a podcast.

For fans unaware of the situation, Claire is referring to their delayed arrival at the pre-season testing at Barcelona in 2019. Their challenger, F42, did not arrive at the track on time. Reputed technical director, Paddy Lowe, left the team in the aftermath.

As for the whole season, they recorded just single points finish, courtesy of Kubica at German GP. It was the worst season in their history up to that point.

“It was the worst few weeks prior to it. Certainly, the week we were supposed to go testing was pretty horrendous… that whole year was a real low point.”

2018 engineered Williams’ downfall in 2019

It makes us all wonder what brought about their poor fortunes in 2019. It might have been 2018 when they began developing the car for 2019 and got it completely wrong.

Thankfully, they sorted some of the issues that season and were much more competitive even if they didn’t have any points to show for it.

“But ’19 as much as we again had a sh*tty year, we cleared out the issues, and we were able to start making progress and move forward. And if hadn’t done that, we would have been in the same position as ’18.”

CIRCUIT DE CATALUNYA, MONTMELO, SPAIN: Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams during day four of F1 Winter Testing. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“So, people always thought ’19 was my worst year, but it was actually ’18,” Claire noted.

The sport needs historical and prestigious teams like Williams to get somewhere close to its former glory. Fans of the past still resonate with them while the new ones don’t wish to see George Russell languishing at the bottom.

Read MoreWhy Are Williams Struggling in F1?

Bharat Aggarwal

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. His fandom for Formula One began with the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP and he fell in love with NBA after watching Dirk Nowitzki create magic on the basketball court. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. When he's not following Formula One or NBA, Bharat also enjoys tennis and MMA.

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