Can aggressive new Williams halt downward spiral?
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Can aggressive new Williams halt downward spiral?

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Williams has gone aggressive with its 2018 design and it has heavily bolstered its technical team. But it has an unproven and inexperienced driver line-up and some key rivals are expected to vault forward. Does its optimism have any foundation?

Since catapulting up to third in the constructors' championship in 2014 with the help of a switch to Mercedes propulsion, it has been a case of diminishing returns for Williams. Third with 80% of the points of the previous season in 2015, fifth in '16, fifth in '17 with fewer points...the pattern is clear.

Formula 1 car launches are always steeped in optimism. But to predict even a levelling off of the Williams decline, let alone a revival based on something more tangible, there must be cogent reason to expect the trend to reverse. With a budgetary chasm to F1's big beasts, and reason to expect McLaren and Renault to take strides forward this year, Williams faces a tough task this year even to stand still. But there are at least reasons its trajectory could change.

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