Sunday, September 27, 2020

1 Racing Mind’s 2020 Formula 1 Mid-Season Team Report Card: Williams Racing

Photo Credit: Mark Sutton LAT Images/Pirelli

Team Grade: C

Driver’s Grade 

George Russell: B-

Nicholas Latifi: C

Summary of First Nine Races:

An organization who has won nine Formula 1 Constructors Championship titles and crossed the line first in 114 grand prix races since 1977, Williams Racing Formula 1 team’s performance in recent years has been far detached from its glorious history. The once-dominant team has been regularly spotted at the rear of the running order for grand prix events in 2019 due to many factors including a lower operating budget compared to teams at the front of the grid as well as bumbled development of the FW42 race car. As the on-track product suffered, the delay of the 2020 season caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic magnified off-track woes for Williams Racing. In addition to splitting from team title sponsor ROKiT, the organization posted a large financial loss in May of this year. To was at that point mention of partnership or even total sale of the Williams Racing team was first floated.

Despite operational challenges, Williams Racing arrived for the season opening Formula 1 race in Austria with British pilot George Russell and rookie Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi. Although Williams Racing had scored a point in the constructors’ championship by this time last year, the 2020 on-track performance for the team has been mildly better. Russell’s pace in qualifying for several early events in the season showed the Mercedes-Benz powered FW43 was able to potentially enter the Q2 session. The Styrian Grand Prix and the Hungarian Grand Prix were season-best qualifying outings for George Russell after nine races starting 12th on both occasions. 

Nicholas Latifi’s first season in Formula 1 has involved a great deal of time in the back of the field. The Canadian has been outpaced by his more experienced teammate in all nine qualifying events this season. Finishing 11th on two occasions (largely due to running in events with high attrition), Latifi had been recorded as finishing all races this season until his first retirement being caught up in the multi-car wreck at the Tuscan Grand Prix.

Prediction for Rest of the 2020 Season:

Taking to the grid for the 2020 Formula 1 season was a challenge itself for the Williams Racing team. A sale to US-based Dorilton Capital announced in late August allowed the organization to obtain its most important goal; the team’s survival. 

While the new owners are committed to retaining the team’s name and other heritage features including the ‘FW’ designation in their chassis, the race group is moving on without team founder Sir Frank Williams or its Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams. With the Tuscan Grand Prix being the start of establishing a new era for a new Williams Racing, it’s difficult to imagine any major improvements will be made throughout the remainder of 2020 to left the team up the grid. Running powerful Mercedes-Benz power is not a guarantee for success for the team as it is for the factory Mercedes AMG or even Racing Point. Williams Racing’s best chance at a championship point for the 2020 season may come in events where a high level of race retirements will occur.

No comments:

Post a Comment