Manufacturer deals ‘difficult’ in Formula 1 - Williams

Claire Williams says it would be "very difficult" to make a manufacturer partnership work with the Formula 1 team's current culture regardless of the financial benefits it would bring

Manufacturer deals ‘difficult’ in Formula 1 - Williams

Williams, a team with the fifth biggest budget, punched above its weight for the second successive season in 2015, finishing third in the constructors' championship.

The team parted ways with works partner BMW at the end of 2005, after the relationship broke down when BMW criticised the team for not being able to produce a car capable of winning the constructors' championship and Williams blamed BMW for a lack of power.

Over the next eight years, Williams struggled and managed just one win and three other podiums.

But after securing a long-term engine supply deal with Mercedes, signing big name sponsors and recruiting key people like technical chief Pat Symonds, the team turned its form around.

"I really value the independence that we have, it's really important to me," deputy team principal Williams told Autosport.

"No one can deny having the backing of a manufacturer financially is critical.

"But unless we have a good relationship and understanding and respect of each other's strengths, weaknesses and boundaries, it would be very difficult to make it work, particularly in a culture like our team.

"I like the structure that we have at the moment, but that's not to say that I wouldn't appreciate if a manufacturer were to look at us and say 'we'd like to partner with you'.

"If those terms were appropriate and worked for both parties then it would springboard us into another sphere.

"But currently - yes we're only a customer team but we have a great relationship with Mercedes.

"We work very hard on that relationship to make sure that we've cultivated this partnership, it's as strong as it can be, and we have a long-term relationship with them.

"So at the moment we're very happy with that and I like the way things are working."

Williams is adamant the team can challenge for the title, even without financial backing from a manufacturer.

"Some people have been saying we could never win but look what happened in Silverstone," she said.

"We overtook them [Mercedes] and we led for 20 laps, and it was only really because our car wasn't strong enough to keep them behind us, that wasn't the power unit it was the car.

"We have to do a better job on the chassis side and then we can fight for wins and we can fight Mercedes for a championship.

"This is not all about engines in Formula 1 as much as what the paddock says.

"If we do a better job chassis-wise then of course we can take the fight to them and I 100 per cent believe that."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton would not disobey Mercedes Formula 1 team to win
Previous article

Lewis Hamilton would not disobey Mercedes Formula 1 team to win

Next article

The evidence for F1 reverse grids

The evidence for F1 reverse grids
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023