In a frank (if you pardon the punnage) interview with Autosport, ROKiT Williams Racing deputy Team Principal Claire Williams has admitted that the team aren’t out of the mire just yet but has insisted that the situation at the team is not quite as dire as many onlookers suspect.
However she’s also hinted that for Williams to become successful once more is a long term project that could take years, rather than there being some sort of magic bullet that can cure all of their ails in one quick hit.
“We’ve got a journey we’re on and we’ve got to make sure everything is fit for purpose: so we don’t make these mistakes in the future, we produce a better race car and we have more success on the race track.”
“We’ve just got it wrong. And we’ve got to fix that. Hopefully you’ll see a much more successful Williams in the coming years.”
“We’ve still got work to do. But we always said this was going to be a long road.”
Speaking of the team’s current state after what appears to be a series of delays led to Williams missing the first two and a half days of the first F1 pre-season test, Claire Williams said:
“I would say now we have the car on track, we’re back on track”
“We got to car build and we had to go through that process as much as we went through last season, and that process clearly isn’t right.”
“We haven’t nailed that yet and we need to do some work to make sure it is fit for purpose going into 2020. But it takes time. It’s not crisis mode.”
What I take from that is that things aren’t as bad as they might seem from the outside, but that we really shouldn’t expect miracles from Williams, and that they’re likely to spend the majority of the 2019 F1 season towards the back of the field.
But from such a low starting point after a horrendous 2018 season, ‘towards’ the back of the field would actually be decent progress.