2020 Williams FW43
No change in the engine/power unit department (Mercedes), title sponsor (ROKiT) or lead driver (George Russell) for 2020, but Robert Kubica made way for Formula 2 runner-up Nicholas Latifi in the second car.
The Williams FW43 was Williams’ first car with input from Sir Patrick Head for half a dozen or so years, as he returned to the team as a consultant following the departure of former CTO Paddy Lowe, and a tough two seasons during which its two drivers were able to muster just eight points between them in 41 races.
Claire Williams again began the season as de facto Team Principal (Sir Frank Williams retained the title of TP, but daughter Claire was in charge with Sir Frank in a backseat role).
A difficult start to the 2020 season
After a delayed start to the 2020 Formula 1 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams’ announced that their agreement with title sponsor ROKiT had been terminated. The reasons behind this are still as of yet unclear, although Williams insist that they met all of their contractual obligations.
This left Williams without a title sponsor and with a rather large hole in their budget, which prompted them to secure a loan from Michael Latifi, billionaire father of Williams driver Nicholas Latifi, keeping the team solvent in the short term.
Sale of the Williams Team
Sadly, it didn’t appear to be enough and without the necessary funding from sponsors and an absence of F1 activity, it was revealed that the team was up for sale and subsequently that Williams Racing had been bought by US investment firm Dorilton Capital on 21st August.
As a consequence, the Williams family stepped down from the Williams Racing board, and Claire Williams resigned her post as Deputy Team Principal.
This meant that – after 739 Formula 1 Grand Prix – the Italian Grand Prix of 2020 was the last for a Williams Team run by the Williams family, and a new era beckoned.
No points for the FW43 in 2020
Come the end of the season, Williams had failed to score a single point, making 2020 the first year in the team’s 43 year history where it had failed to get on the board, and the third in a row at the foot of both Formula 1 World Championships.
2021 and the FW43B
The COVID pandemic and forced closure of factories caused a great deal of disruption to – among many other things – teams’ plans to develop their 2021 cars, which were to be built to a new set of regulations designed to close the gap between the spread of Formula 1 teams both on and off track.
Because of this, F1 decided that these new regulations would be instead be introduced in 2022, a year later than planned.
To fill the gap, teams would update their 2020 cars and use them for a second season rather than park them at the end of a single year as is the norm these days.
Williams are expected to introduce a raft of changes to the FW43 that are significant enough to warrant a ‘B’ after its name. Fans are also anticipating a fresh new livery when the FW43B is launched on 5th March 2021.
Williams FW43 Specs
|Williams ROKiT Racing
|George Russell, Nicholas Latifi
|Mercedes Hybrid Turbo V6
|AP 6 piston front and 4 piston rear calipers with carbon discs and pads
|Williams 8 speed semi-automatic
Williams FW43 Results