The true extent of Williams' 2018 troubles are becoming ever clearer. In Melbourne, it looked likely that the once-great British team's new car has not been born well. And in Bahrain, it was a Williams that was dead last not only in qualifying, but also the race.
Arguably struggling the most is rookie Sergey Sirotkin, but his teammate Lance Stroll has also been implicated in what some experts say is the worst driver lineup in F1. "We need to see how the season unfolds, but I think any newcomer should be given some time," said deputy boss Claire Williams. Defending the team's young and inexperienced and yet highly sponsored drivers, she added: "We believe that it's important to support young talents."
But fingers are being pointed back at Williams even from the driver camp. Billionaire Lawrence Stroll, Lance's father and financial backer, was spotted in a tense conversation with Williams boss Paddy Lowe in Bahrain. Lance Stroll said: "The car balance is not right, we lack grip and also the pace leaves something to be desired. Everything has to get better."
Some see the talented and experienced reserve driver Robert Kubica as somewhat of a potential saviour for Williams. But the Pole told Austrian television ORF in Bahrain: "Our pace is simply not good enough. We could already see that we had problems during the Barcelona tests. Lance did a good job in Melbourne, but the problems have remained the same. Luckily we know what we need to work on." (GMM)