In my opinion, after failing to deliver in 2004. Despite slipping back in 98 and 99, with the help of the BMW they came back. After BMW came in they have first won Le Mans together and then they became one of the three championship contenders in F1. In 2003 they have almost won both titles. They had the most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever but they failed to complement it with superb aerodynamics. That’s why their drivers have left and the end of the 04 and BMW in 05. From that point on they were destined to be a midfielder, until some genius boffin comes to the rescue.
Well it will most certainly be interesting to see what they can drag out of this season. I think their car is somewere between the midfield (Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso) and the back end of the field (Marussia, Caterham). Too slow for the midfield, too fast for the back of it, o dear… now I have a decent think of it their situation is very interesting. There are some questions that have to be asked. When will they score there first point and who will get it: Bottas or Maldonado? How long will PDVSA keep the oil-money flowing now Maduro is president.
Maldonado is at his two best tracks in succession. I wouldn’t be surprised if he can scratch and claw his way to a handful of points in Spain & Monaco. Maybe he’ll even have a Panis-esque victory at Monaco, anything’s possible.
@rjoconnell Bottas is considered a Zandvoort specialist, having won the F3 Masters twice. He also has a strong track record at the German circuits due to his F3 Euroseries and Formula Renault experience. Therefore, one can expect him to be strong in Germany, Budapest (where he took a pole in GP3), and Silverstone. He’s won at both the Nurburgring and Hockenheim in different categories, so I’m excited to see what he can achieve at those circuits.
I think their problem is their obsession with “aggression”, which has, often as not, failed dismally.
At the same time, they have been forced to settle for second-best time and time again. They tried to get Raikkonen, and had to settle for Senna. They tried to get Honeywell, and have settled for sponsorless-ness. And they tried to get money from Qatar, but have settled for Kazakhstan.
A few people have alluded to it without completely following through on the point. Williams downfall started when they failed to line up a stale, long term engine partner (I’m not going to start saying powertrain until next season :p).
Having had successful relationships with Honda, Renault and then to a lesser extent BMW, Williams were left in the cold at the end of 2005 when BMW decided to take over Sauber and go it alone. Part of their inability to find a suitable tie up thereafter is, in my opinion, down to the fact that the manufacturers started thinking in the early to mid 2000s that they would get more bang for their buck going it on their own in the sport rather than teaming up with an established constructor. And I suppose it is true: When you think of Renault world championships you don’t think of the fact that they won every world championship (bar 1) between 1992 and 1997, you think of the double double they achieved in 05 and 06.