Tagged: Williams decline
I think (correct me if I’m wrong) they’ve had their worst start to a season ever this year, we all know the driver situation and now they’ve got a couple of resignations too. Do you think they’ll bounce back with new personnel or are they on their gradual way out? How long do you think they’ll stay in the sport?
Well I remember the hopes for 2009 and the regulation changes, which then turned out to be misplaced, so forgive me if I don’t look to 2013 as the great salvation of the team.
They need more money, more ideas and better drivers – all 3 of them. I don’t necessarily think they’ll disappear but a buyout with a change of name might be the logical end to any more years at the back – see Jordan’s fate for example.
I think Jordan aren’t comparable to Williams, as this level of technology is much more advanced, and thus much more marketable than 20 years ago.
The further difference is that Williams is a company, as much as a race team. It sells it’s technology on to others. It’s KERS system for example and the new Jaguar that is being built in conjunction with the Tata owned company.
So I think they will be around for a while, but they certainly need results. Obviously Sam Michael is stepping down at the end of this year, which is a shame, but it’s hard to see what else they could have done.
Well Toyota was much more than an F1 team and disappeared, though for different reasons. But their F1 branch is still active. Maybe we could see the first car technology company that started as an F1 team, branched out, but then ceased its F1 operations?
I hope they pick themselves up, Williams are an F1 institution, and whilst I agree a buyout looks like it might be the only hope at the moment, I pray such a travesty doesn’t occur.
Personally I think Sir Frank and Patrick Head as well as the Williams boys have enough about them to design a winning car again, but they’ll need the funds and drivers before they’ll manage it again.
F1 is very much a rollercoaster, and all the top teams (surviving or otherwise) had ups & downs in their fortunes. Its easy to forget that prior to Schumacher winning for them, Ferrari had to look back to 1979 for a WDC and 1983 for a WCC, and Ferrari make such a big deal about winning these days.
So Williams can go the way of Ferrari (and to an extent, Mclaren) and endure these years in the wilderness and just survive before hoping they come full circle and find themselves up the top of the grid. Or they go the way of Brabham, Team Lotus (Chapmans outfit) and Tyrrell and have their stars burn out.
I think they’ve got a better chance now that Michael and Tomlinson are gone. The team really needed a culture change. They’ve been stuck in a rut for years, about how their cars have an “aggressive” design and that this is the way forward. And while they certainly managed to make an aggressive-looking car in the FW33, comments from Sam Michael at the livery launch suggested that they had sat down to make a car that was as aggressive as possible, rather than one that was actually fast. I don’t know too much about Tomlinson’s role in the team, but Michael has really been pushing this how “aggressive” agenda for years, and the team has had very little success. They can’t even be consistent from one year to the next; instead, they’re bouncing between the upper and lower midfield year in, year out. Michael is starting to sound like a broken record, and it’s quite clear that the approach is not working. I’m surprise they haven’t gotten rid of him sooner.
It does seem like the team is getting desperate, it is looking more and more like the death of Williams.
I think their time has come, they had a great run and will be remembered for all time, but their time is coming to a close.
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© 2014 Keith Collantine