Autosport have compared each of Formula 1’s ten teams’ laptimes in 2017 and 2018 using their ‘supertime’ method and it won’t make for enjoyable reading for Williams fans.
Autosport’s ‘supertime’ is found by taking each team’s quickest lap over the course of a Grand Prix weekend, and comparing it with the outright quickest time by anyone to give a percentage (0 if their time was the weekend’s best lap).
The percentage for each race is combined and an average taken to give each team a ‘supertime’ for the season, and it’s this number that Autosport are comparing.
Are you still with me??
In 2017, Williams’ supertime with the FW40 was 102.524, essentially meaning that Williams’ lap times were 103% that of the pacesetters over the course of the season.
In 2018, the flawed Williams FW41 caused the team to drop back to 103.606, 1% further away from the fastest guys than they’d been the previous season.
This might not seem like much, but to put it in context – Lewis Hamilton’s pole position lap for the 2018 British Grand Prix at Silverstone was 1m 25s.
1% of that is eight and a half tenths of a second. That’s how much ground Williams lost in 2018 to where they’d been the season before.
Williams lost the most of all the teams in 2018 – over twice that of McLaren, who were the other big losers.
The two teams to gain big were Sauber and Haas, who gained 1.5% and 0.8% respectively, largely thanks to relationships with Ferrari who supplies them with parts, something that led to Haas being dubbed a ‘Ferrari replica’ by Fernando Alonso in 2018.
Williams fans will be hoping that with the Williams FW42, due to hit the track at F1’s first pre-season test at Barcelona on the 18th February 2019, will power Williams’ two new drivers Robert Kubica and George Russell to better results in the 2019 Formula 1 season.