Williams have been among the backmarkers in F1 for the past few seasons now. Their slow descent into being the bottom dweller of the grid has been bookmarked by the fact that they’ve won just eight points over the last three seasons. George Russell is not confident that this dismal record will change in 2021.
The British team is under new management as the Williams family sold its stakes to US investment capital company Dorilton Capital in August 2020. The new ownership group will be looking to turn things around and have brought in German Jost Capito to handle the operations.
In an interview after testing concluded, George Russell expects the situation to improve but feels the gap to midfield still exists. He said, “These conditions sort of brought out the worst in this car, and we anticipated that before, so there’s no signs as yet that we’ve closed the gap.”
However, he expects the car to do better at certain tracks than other teams. He said, “But I think there will be a big swing for us, I think you will see quite a yo-yo effect for us this season. I think we’ll be faster at events and maybe very slow at others.”
“And as I said, these conditions in these past three days are the worst conditions we’d like to see for our race car.”
The Brit feels the track conditions didn’t help matters as the Williams car is especially sensitive to such changes. He said, “We knew it coming into this season and it was sort of confirmed today that we believe our car is very sensitive to the wind, as most teams are.”
“They [the conditions] sort of highlighted our issues which has been positive in a way to give us a chance to dig into the data.”
The British team should look at the transformation which took place at McLaren for guidance. They were also in a similar predicament just three seasons back. But, with Zak Brown bringing in the right personnel in terms of drivers and technical staff, they enter 2021 with ambitions of trying to compete with Red Bull and Mercedes.
Williams already have two good drivers in Russell and Nicholas Latifi. They, however, need to get their car design and set up spot on. If they are able to rectify the technical faults in the car, they should never their climb up the standings.
Williams have made a positive move in bringing Jost Capito to freshen the setup. His work with Volkswagen’s Motorsport division was note-worthy and could be what makes the iconic team finally spark.