Williams Racing have confirmed that they won’t bring any further updates to their FW43B car in the remaining 6 races of the 2021 Formula 1 season, focusing instead on the development of the 2022 FW44.
With Williams sitting nicely in 8th position in the Formula 1 Constructors championship table, and with 7th place Aston Martin out of sight and 9th place Alfa Romeo needing to almost treble their current tally of points (7) in the remaining third of the season, it’s unlikely that the Grove team’s position will change irrespective of what happens between now and the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
So it makes sense for Williams to turn all their attention to next season, where the introduction of an all new set of regulations could dictate the general running order for the next few years, and handsomely reward any team that’s able to steal a march on its competitors.
If Williams can build a good car – or better still, spot an area of the rules that’s open to exploitation and build itself another coanda exhaust, f-duct, or double diffuser – then it can expect its recent resurgence to kick on to the next level.
Conversely, with next year’s spec being such a radical (in theory) departure from the current formula it would be quite easy for any team to adopt a design philosophy that doesn’t quite work, miss a trick that everyone else has spotted, or take an alternative approach hoping to steal a march on its rivals that proves unsuccessful .
And any team that finds itself on the back foot at the beginning of next season could face a long road back to competitiveness.
“As the 2021 campaign enters its final phase of events, we will have no new upgrades and instead we are focussed on tuning the car and making the most of what we have as we look to defend our Championship position.” Dave Robson, Williams’ head of vehicle performance told williamsf1.com
If you’d offered me 23 points on the board, a couple of front row starts and a podium for Williams at the start of the year, I’d have snapped your hand off – and I’m sure most other Williams fans would do likewise.
And so with that in the bank I’m happy Williams has the luxury of now ensuring that it begins 2022 in the best possible shape to capitalise on the upheaval the new rules will undoubtedly bring and continue its resurgence back to the sharp end of the grid.