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2020 begins positively for Williams: Crash test, budget

January 17, 2020

The early part of 2019 was an unmitigated disaster for Williams.

As revealed by Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams in Tel Aviv earlier this week repeated crash test failures by their all-new FW42 led to the exposure of flaws in its design/build processes which in turn resulted in the British team’s complete absence from F1’s first pre-season test in Barcelona and the departure of CTO Paddy Lowe.

It was a stuttering start from which, despite much hard work behind the scenes, it would never quite manage to recover, and Williams ended the season where it had began – cut adrift at the back of the field.

And so it’s heartening to hear that the first step in getting the FW42’s successor, the Williams FW43, from the factory to the track has gone according to plan.

“We passed all our crash tests, and most of which we did at the first attempt rather than like last year where we failed many of them: even at the sixth attempt.” said Claire Williams.

“Obviously the key target now is getting the car to that test on time – and at the lights when they go green…I have absolute confidence that that will happen.”

And on learning from last year’s debacle she added: “We’ve built ourselves a huge amount of contingency time to ensure that if something does go wrong, we’re okay.”

And the good news goes on!

When Unilever jumped ship after 2019, without Robert Kubica’s funding from Orlen and a lean couple of years trimming the amount of prize money the team receives, many people feared that Williams were dangerously short on the funding required to compete in Formula 1, and that a terminal decline had begun for one of Formula 1’s greatest ever teams.

However, Williams insists that her team has ample budget for the 2020 campaign.

“Our business model actually relies heavily on sponsorship and it’s never easy. It hasn’t been for the past decades, but we still managed to find a healthy racing budget with which to do what we need to do over the course of the year.

“We have that going into this year. Obviously as you all know, we sold a majority stake in Advanced Engineering, the proceeds of which come into the F1 team, in order to bolster the budget as well. So I have no concerns over the racing budget for 2020.”

A successful crash test might be a small victory, but it’s progress!

The acid test will come on the 19th February when, all being well, the FW43 hits the track.


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