Williams is just not getting started right now. The team from Grove went out completely empty for the very first time this year at the Silverstone home game.
Particularly bitter: From the back in the World Cup now slowly but surely even Force India is pressing for place four. The Mallya force is only 19-meter behind Williams. At the moment, it looks like we need to look back to Force India rather than forward to Red Bull,”Claire Williams confesses. the deputy team leader confesses and declares: “We do not want to take any steps back.” But this is exactly what seems to have happened to Williams this year. You can no longer connect to the stronger performances of the season 2014 and 2015. This was particularly evident last weekend in Silverstone.
2014 Valtteri Bottas was still on the podium there as the second, last year one could even lead the race for a long time. For Bottas and teammates Felipe Massa only the squares 14 and eleven were inside. Fortunately, during the previous races, we have analyzed a lot and identified and corrected our weaknesses,”says Williams, explaining:”This work happens behind closed doors.”
Williams depends on development
“We have some upgrades that will come in the next races”, the deputy team leader promises.” ORF expert Alex Wurz goes to court with Williams and explains: “They are no longer the’New Kids on the Block’, as they were a year or two ago. The aerodynamics need to be adapted, especially for such routes.”But why is Williams so extreme this year?
“The car is better than last year. There is no doubt that we have improved,”Bottas assures. His guess: “The others have made even greater progress. We must understand why we could not take these steps.”It is clear that the connection to Red Bull and Ferrari has apparently been lost. This may be due to the fact that the Mercedes engine is no longer as dominant as 2014.
But also Mercedes-intern has Williams to fight. In the last five races, Force India brought in a full 59-meter. Williams only put it on 27 dots during the same period.” We were unable to keep up with the development during the season, so we are in a difficult situation at the moment,”Bottas ponders.”We are in a difficult situation.” Of course it depends on the courses, but this (Silverstone; Amen. d. Red.) should normally be a good one for us.”
Tires continue to cause problems
“The result shows where we are at the moment,”according to Silverstone, the Finnish judge ruthlessly. A big problem at the moment are the tires.” It’s all about the tires. We always talk about the things we do with the tires. But they still surprise us- all of us! Also Red Bull, Ferrari and even Mercedes,”explains Chief Technology Officer Pat Symonds. But Williams seems to hit it particularly hard this year.
“I think it’s related to the mixtures themselves. The fact t hat we no longer have that much freedom when it comes to tyre printing makes it even more difficult,”Symonds says and adds:”I don’t think there is a team that can handle the tyres completely.”Bottas explains to”Sky Sports F1″, saying,”We have many ideas, but it is easier said than done. For example, we need more mechanical grip and more aero. We are working hard on it.”
“Now we had forgotten another weekend. We must analyse it thoroughly again and learn from it. We need to get better, and so do I as a driver. I also need to learn something from a race that was not good for me,”explains the Finnish. But at the moment, Williams is mostly helpless. Bottas repeatedly replies to the problems: “I don’t know.”
Williams still doesn’t write 2016 off
So, among other things, the tests with the new front wing in Silverstone had to be postponed –the other construction sites are currently too big. The great hope now is that everything will be better again.” We’re bringing new parts to the next three races. It is not over yet,”explains Symonds, who does not want to leave 2016. But the fact that the big change is still going to succeed seems rather questionable at the moment.
Bottas is also relying on the new rules 2017. “2014 was a pretty competitive year for us compared to much larger teams. We can be at the front”, Symonds adds with regard to 2014: “We started at the beginning of the season only as the fifth fastest team and were the second fastest team at the end of the year.”
“We really developed well. Now we have problems,”the British says and explains:”Maybe we did not do it as well as 2014.”Nevertheless, he is”optimistic”about 2017 and says,”We are in fourth place in the World Cup. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. We make the fastest pit stops every Sunday. There are many things we can be proud of at Williams.”