Williams drivers need maturity to match their pace

Williams technical director Patrick Head believes his drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher still have some growing up to do to match the team's all-time great partnerships, according to an exclusive interview in this week's Motorsport News

Williams drivers need maturity to match their pace

Head said the duo have the pace, but not the maturity yet to challenge pairings such as Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell, or Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann from Williams' title-studded past.

The duo have finished just three times out of a combined total of 14 starts this season. Although Schumacher has a win and Montoya a second place so far in 2001, the pair endured a crash-filled Monaco weekend last time out.

"In terms of speed, they compare very well with our previous partnerships," said Head. "But I wouldn't say they rank with the likes of Piquet and Mansell or Jones and Reutemann in terms of wisdom. That's not just because of the bumps [they had] in Monaco, though certainly they were accidents we could have done without, as every accident is a limitation to what can be achieved. But generally I wouldn't say that it's a mature partnership."

Head believes that because drivers coming into F1 now are generally younger and more cocooned than those from previous generations, they do not become 'worldly wise' as quickly.

"I suppose 10 or 20 years ago the drivers were in their mid-thirties," he said. "But either they're younger now, or so protected from the ways of the world that they don't become as wise so quickly. I don't know."

Head says he never takes it out on a driver when they make a mistake - which rookie sensation Montoya says works well as a philosophy.

"If I make a mistake I don't think Patrick is going to come up to me and go, 'blah, blah'," he said, "and it would be the same from my side if there is a reliability failure."

Read this week's Motorsport News as Patrick Head shoots from the hip in an exclusive interview.

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