Williams remains one of the grid’s most iconic teams, second only to the great Ferrari, in terms of constructors’ championships - and third, behind McLaren in terms of race wins.
Its former drivers list a veritable who’s who of world champions including Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, and Nelson Piquet. Alan Jones earning its first drivers’ crown - in 1980. The Australian locking-in with Sir Frank Williams and technical director Sir Patrick Head.
SOUNDBITE (English) ALAN JONES,
1980 F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“It was great. Patrick and Frank and myself got on like a house on fire. We were all a similar age. We all had the same ambitions and desires. We were all hungry, and we all gelled together. We all got on extremely well. And the culmination of all that was winning the world championship, which was fantastic.”
The first half of 2019, though, has been a disaster - and shockingly even worse than last season. Its FW42 a lagging backmarker - chief technical officer Paddy Lowe jettisoned on the eve of the season.
… with George Russell four seconds off the pace in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, veteran returnee Robert Kubica more than five.
And while Paddy Lowe hasn’t been replaced, the team has continued to push, getting closer to the rear of the field in qualifying, with upgrades at Silverstone, Hockenheim and Hungary.
Germany’s chaotic race leading to the squad’s first point for the season, Kubica promoted to 10th after both Alfa Romeo’s received penalties.
There’s no doubt the point is welcome, but the squad is likely locked into 10th place now. Haas, in ninth, on 26 points, an impossible target for the squad at this stage… even with more upgrades coming.
But there’s still plenty of fight at the former British powerhouse squad, as the outfit continues to claw its way back from the brink.
SOUNDBITE (English) CLAIRE WILLIAMS,
DEPUTY TEAM PRINCIPAL, WILLIAMS:
“We want to tell the world that Williams is here to stay, that we’re viable, we’re sustainable and we have clear ambitions for success in the future.”