Williams can catch Ferrari for second in F1 standings - Rob Smedley

Williams has set its sights on leapfrogging Ferrari for second in the Formula 1 constructors' championship after its British Grand Prix performance, says Rob Smedley

Williams can catch Ferrari for second in F1 standings - Rob Smedley

Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas ran first and second early in the Silverstone F1 race, as Williams outpaced Ferrari for most of the weekend.

Though its drivers ultimately finished fourth and fifth, after struggling in wet conditions, the car's pace in the dry gave Williams hope it can erase the 60-point deficit to Ferrari.

BRITISH GP ANALYSIS: What more could Williams have done?

"We are constantly bringing new bits to every grand prix in all areas of the car," said the team's performance chief Smedley.

"The team is developing the car in small incremental steps and there is more to come.

"We are trying more and more to put ourselves into a more favourable position as we want to try and get second position in the championship - that is our target now."

Bottas believes Mercedes is too far ahead for Williams to think about, but agrees with Smedley that Ferrari can be caught.

"I'm quite pleased with the gap to the Ferrari," said the Finn.

"We were quicker than them in qualifying for the first time this season.

"The gap to Mercedes was expected, we knew they would be quick so it is not really a surprise.

"But this is racing. We are not giving up. You never know what can happen.

"We need to make sure we're up there to pick up the pieces."

GARY ANDERSON: Williams should've been more aggressive

The high-speed nature of Silverstone played to Williams's strength whereas the tight and twisty layout of Budapest's Hungaroring will provide more of a challenge in the next grand prix later this month.

Smedley knows the team must work on low-speed pace if it is to achieve its aim.

"We know we are still missing a bit in the low speed and we are big enough to hold hands up and say that is the case," he said.

"We're looking at all sorts of ways of recuperating that.

"It's looking at clever ways of developing the car, innovative ways let's say, so we can continue development of high-speed but at same time accelerate development of low-speed.

"What we absolutely cannot do is take our eye off the ball in the areas we are good. We can't trade off.

"We have to improve the areas where we are weak, while at same time improving the areas where we are strong."

Williams has outscored Ferrari in the last three grands prix, although it has only gained 17 points across that run, 13 of them from its third and fifth places in Austria.

CONSTRUCTORS' STANDINGS:

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 371
2 Ferrari 211
3 Williams/Mercedes 151
4 Red Bull/Renault 63
5 Force India/Mercedes 39

shares
comments
F1 2015: You ask Codemasters
Previous article

F1 2015: You ask Codemasters

Next article

'Wrong' to think too far ahead on F1 and McLaren future - Button

'Wrong' to think too far ahead on F1 and McLaren future - Button
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021