Williams Martini Racing deputy team principal Claire Williams says that she is proud of the incredible work that the Grove based outfit have done in 2018 despite their incredible struggles.
The team sit at the bottom of the Constructors championship on seven points. Williams says she was optimistic going into the 2018 season coming into the year off the back of a fifth place finish in the 2017 standings. The team will lose their title sponsor, Martini at the end of the season and it was confirmed last weekend that their head of performance engineering Rob Smedley will leave the team at the end of the season.
Speaking to Tom Clarkson during the Beyond The Grid Podcast, Claire said:
It’s been an enormous shock actually. “I fully expected to come into this year in a much better place. I think we all did, and probably a lot of fans of ours around the world thought that we were going to be coming out with a much quicker race car. That was the expectation, so when we got to testing – we didn’t even have to wait till Australia to really realise that that wasn’t the case.
The 2018 car was the first to be designed under the technical leadership of former Mercedes engineering director Paddy Lowe who is now Chief Technical Officer of the Williams team.
Williams says that she and the senior management of the team have had countless meeting with Paddy Lowe and the technical team and that she is not one to air her dirty laundry in public.
For the 2019 season, Williams have signed Mercedes test and reserve driver George Russell to the team who becomes the first British driver to race for the outfit since Jenson Button made his Formula One debut with them in the year 2000.
Speaking about 2019, Williams said:
All I can say. “is we’re doing every single thing possible to make sure that we address every single problem that we have in this team in order to make sure 2019 is better for us. But if it’s not, at least I know that we’re setting ourselves up for certainly a better future beyond that.
While Russell joins the team is not clear on who will be his team mate as Lance Stroll who made his Formula One debut with the team in 2017 will leave at the end of the season as it is expected that the Canadian will join the Racing Point Force India Formula One Team which is owned by his father Lawrence, joining Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez at the Silverstone based outfit.