Williams backs team to bounce back from 2018 low

  • 09 Feb 2019 12:28
  • comments 7
  • By: Richard Fletcher

Claire Williams, the deputy team principal for Williams has revealed her dissatisfaction with the teams current standing in Formula 1. She believes the team still has relevance and that they should be higher up the field than their last place finish in the 2018 constructors championship.

The team suffered their worst ever result in 2018 finishing last with a total of 7 points Their best finish of the season was an 8th place finish by Lance Stroll in Azerbaijan. Their only other points were a 9th and 10th place at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.

The Williams family business has had huge success in the past with 9 constructors championships, 7 drivers championships and 114 race wins but after their disastrous 2018 season they lost numerous staff. These included head of performance engineering Rob Smedley, chief designer Ed Wood and head of aerodynamics Dirk De Beer.

Looking forward for the 2019 season Claire Williams has shown her determination and revealed that she is fighting to protect her parents legacy: "This is our families team, so there is a lot riding on that. It's a legacy that we are extremely proud of. So there's that pressure." 

She explained that she has heartfelt concerns about the teams reputation: "I care very deeply about the people that work for us and I want to make sure that they have a team that they can be proud of and that this team survives for many, many many years to come in our sport." 

"So I have a huge personal investment, but I wouldn't be doing anything else. I love what I do, I'm very lucky to do what I do and I actually find the challenge probably more invigorating than if we were just happily cruising around in P4 and grabbing the occasional podium."

Claire compares her journey within Formula 1 to when her father Frank Williams started the team. She describes how success is only achievable with an enormous amount of hard work and adds that luck doesn't always come into it. 

She finished by saying: "I'm prepared for that and I've got my sleeves rolled up and I'm going to fight with every inch of my being in order to achieve what I want Williams to achieve. And I won't give up until I do. I'll go down fighting if I have to but I will continue to fight for this team because I believe in it. I believe it has a place in this sport, I believe it still has a very great relevance and it shouldn't be where it is at the moment."

 

 

Replies (7)

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  • She's right, they shouldn't be there. They have works level facilities, 800 staff, a significantly better facility than Enstone, Racing Point and Haas but lets be honest they're going to be at the back of the grid. Underperformance, lack of direction and unwillingness to change is throughout Grove. It's ashame, but it's true.

    • + 1
    • Feb 9 2019 - 13:51
    • That's why Claire should quit. Indeed, she should have quit already. The lack of proper leadership at Williams is appalling considering everything you mentioned

      • + 0
      • Feb 10 2019 - 15:54
  • As the saying goes, denial ain't just a river in Egypt. It's like she's the only one who thinks that she shouldn't step off and let somebody else step up. It's usually a case of no place to go but up when you're at the bottom but for Williams with her at the front they might very well stay at the bottom. Roll up your sleeves and go be a good mum and let somebody else lead the team. From the interviews I've seen with her, she seems more concerned with good PR and touchy/feely employee relations than having the eye of the tiger needed to be successful in F1. Just sayin...

    • + 0
    • Feb 9 2019 - 18:13
  • I think Claire seem nice enough, but sadly I think she should leave the management of Williams to someone else. Williams need a revolution, and heads need to roll, and Claire don't seem to be ready to repeat what Brown did with McLaren recently.

    • + 0
    • Feb 9 2019 - 18:37
    • You know I've been a broken record on that point. I don't see Williams recovering. Properly recovering until Claire gets out. Morale has to be so low seeing Claire keep her job after doing such a dreadful job. She was a very good communications director a few years ago. Let her use her nepotistic connections to do that instead of being properly fired as she deserves. But please hire a proper Team Manager.

      • + 0
      • Feb 10 2019 - 15:57
    • Oh yes Im aware, and I agree. And I also think she could remain as a kinda galleon figure, while someone else actually handle the stuff behind the scene.

      • + 0
      • Feb 10 2019 - 18:03
  • Norbert

    Posts: 92

    You got the ‘School of Rock’ dilemma. “How can you kick me out of the band when it’s my band?”

    Right now she’s making all the right statements and hopefully behind the scenes, they made the right plans and are implementing them. After, they will evaluate and re-adjust. Along the way they will continue to herd and motivate the team. If Vijay Mallya could do it then why can’t she? All businesses make mistakes and it’s how quickly they acknowledge and respond that counts. I think that heads did roll because, look who left - the Chiefs of performance engineering, design, and aerodynamics which were all the areas of failure last season.

    I may be just a fanboi, but I’m content to observe her work for another couple of seasons and trust she will make a proper evaluation of her place in the team, if it should come down to that.

    • + 0
    • Feb 10 2019 - 04:43

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