How the V8 era left F1's greatest independent in flux
Autosport Plus

How the V8 era left F1's greatest independent in flux

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In part six of our history of Williams, DAMIEN SMITH describes how, despite flashes of potential - even of brilliance - in the seasons immediately after the BMW divorce, at the turn of the decade Williams fell into a trough of underachievement from which it has struggled to extract itself...

Independence is a wonderful thing. To control your own destiny and enjoy the freedom that comes with self-sufficiency - it's a blessing to be your own master. But, in Formula 1, independence can also mean weakness: 'indie' teams lack the cushion of manufacturer support and tend to pay for everything themselves (or at least through sponsors, if they can find them), including the biggest outlay: engines.

Such teams tend to lack power - both metaphorically and literally - to compete at the sharp end, on the track and in boardrooms. It's an unequal struggle, a tough, on-the-edge existence. In F1, sometimes independent freedom isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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