Pat Symonds says Williams F1 team now needs bigger budget

Williams needs to secure a bigger budget before it can make the next step and become a Formula 1 championship contender again, believes its technical chief Pat Symonds

Pat Symonds says Williams F1 team now needs bigger budget

A tie-up with new title sponsor Martini was an element of Williams's return to competitiveness during the 2014 F1 season, when it challenged for several grand prix victories and finished third in the constructors' championship, having been only ninth a year earlier.

But the team's chief technical officer Symonds said reaching the next level will be tougher still.

"I think the step from third to first will be harder than ninth to third, I really do," he told AUTOSPORT.

"The potential has to be to win the world championship and there is no point in doing anything else.

"What will it take to do that? It will take a lot of hard work and it will certainly require a larger budget than we have now.

"I don't think it is necessary to have a budget like Red Bull or Ferrari's - I believe you can do better with less - look at the fact we are operating on a budget half of Ferrari's and we beat them.

"But ultimately, that is the only reason I have taken this job on: I want to win another championship before I go and sit on the beach."

ANALYSIS: The true cost of Formula 1

WILLIAMS COUNTS ON EFFICIENCY

Williams's deputy team principal Claire Williams acknowledged that a bigger budget would help, though she did not a huge cash influx was required.

"Of course we all need more money, but it's not a significant amount more money that we feel we need in order to compete," she said.

"We don't feel we need to double our budget, for example. We don't believe we need to go racing with £200million to win, and we don't have the mentality that because we don't have £200million we can't compete.

"We've always been a team that was able to win against rivals with bigger budgets. We've done it in the past and we'll do it again in the future."

She hopes Williams can make the difference through efficiency if it is unable to close the financial gap to teams ahead.

"We've always had an efficient team," Williams said.

"We've had to, because we're an independent team, we only have two revenue sources - prize money and sponsorship.

"Frank [Williams] and Patrick [Head] have always operated Williams from a very lean budget and punched above our weight."

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