Team boss Frank Williams has countered pessimism from within his own team by insisting that his outfit can still fight for the world championship this year, according to this week's AUTOSPORT magazine
Williams believes that the key to the team's hopes lies in it making major developments to its new FW25 chassis in the next few races.
"The new car is very encouraging," he said. "It is not quick enough, but it is brand new and we are starting to develop it. If we can do that quickly enough then we will be very strong.
"It is a big step forward. The difference between this year's car and last year's is black and white."
The team's lack of conviction with the car was highlighted in Melbourne by the decision to revert to the gearbox and rear suspension used on the interim FW24 it ran over the winter. This specification could stay in place for the rest of the season.
AUTOSPORT also understands that Williams has parted company with aerodynamicists Nick Alcock and Jason Sommerville, who had been promoted to work alongside chief designer Gavin Fisher following Geoff Willis' switch to BAR. The pair have been linked to a move to Toyota.
For more on this story, get this week's AUTOSPORT magazine, on sale now.
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