Williams: How to build a racing bike – at full speed / Formula 1

Williams: How to build a racing bike – at full speed / Formula 1

Williams team boss James Vowles is trying to get the traditional English racing team back on track. Car developer Dave Robson talks about why this job is so difficult.

Williams is regrouping. The nine-time Constructors’ Cup winner (most recently in 1997) and 114-time GP winner (most recently with Pastor Maldonado in Spain in 2012) has only managed to capture 67 points in the last six years, 28 of them. in the 2023 season No one could do that in the 2024 World Cup counters can be found.

Williams almost went down. At the beginning of the turbo hybrid era, the British benefited from the bonus of a very powerful Mercedes engine: in 2014 and 2015, the racing team took third place in the World Championship, then the decline began – after fifth places in 2016 and 2017 , Williams reached the end twice, In 2019, a small score was tied in 21 races. In 2020, the lowest point was reached: for the first time in the history of the team there was not a single score!

Williams enjoys great respect as a traditional team. Nobody wants to see Williams down. In recent years, Williams has looked to me like an old boxer standing in the ring, a former world champion but now gray and tired. No true sports fan wants to see such a man beaten.

Under James Vowles as team boss, things finally started to look good again: seventh place in the 2023 Constructors’ Cup But the way back to podium positions, victories or even world titles is still long, as Dave Robson, who is responsible . for car development at Williams, he knows.

The Englishman compares: “Getting the team back on track and completing the GP season at the same time is like trying to fix a flat tire on your racing bike – at full speed!”

“It’s very difficult to find time to maintain the infrastructure in parallel with regular racing. But that’s what we do. It was clear that we were not working more efficiently compared to other teams. And it takes the brutal clarity of James as team boss and Pat Fry as chief engineer to identify weak points and fix them.

“We have identified what is missing at Williams and we are in the process of fixing it. There is a lot going on at Williams, and sooner or later it will show on the racetrack. It is really frustrating every time because you also have to set priorities. Given the scope of the budget, you cannot carry out all your plans as you could without limit. But in this phase we have to grind our teeth.”

Australien-GP, Albert Park Circuit

01. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, 1:20:26.843 h
02. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, +2,366 sec
03. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, +5.904
04. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, +35,770
05. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, +56,309
06. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, +1:33,222
07. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, +1:35,601
08. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, +1:40.992*
09. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1:44.553
10. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, +1 Lap
11. Alex Albon (T), Williams, +1
12. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bull, +1
13. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, +1
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Sauber, +1
15. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, +1
16. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, +1
George Russell (GB), Mercedes, accident
Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, engine failure
Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, Bremsdefekt

*20 second time penalty for braking in the fight with George Russell
Entry waived: Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams
(Alex Albon crash in free practice, no replacement chassis in Australia)

World Championship Standings (after 3 out of 24 Grands Prix)

the driver
01. Verstappen 51 points
02. Leclerc 47
03. Perez 46
04. Sainz 40
05. Plate 28
06. Norris 27
07. Russell 18
08. Alonso 16
09. Walk 9
10. Hamilton 8
11. Tsunoda 6
12. Oliver Bearman (GB) 6
13. Hulkenberg 3
14. Magnussen 1
15. Alboni 0
16. Zhou 0
17. Ricciardo 0
18. Okon 0
19. 0 gas
20. Bota 0
21. Sergeant 0

Builders Cup
01. Red Bull Racing 97 Punkte
02. Ferrari 93
03. McLaren 55
04. Mercedes 26
05. Aston Martin 25
06. Running Bull 6
07. Especially 4
08. Williams 0
09. Sauber 0
10. Alpine 0