Williams is hopeful of being able to add significant performance to its car in the coming months as a result of an upgrade package being worked on to address weaknesses with its 2019 car.
The late delivery of the FW42 cost Williams track time during pre-season testing, and when the car did run it was comfortably off the pace of the rest of the field. Williams closed the gap to the next-slowest car in Barcelona, while George Russell finished 15th in Monaco in a race with only one retirement, and deputy team principal Claire Williams is seeing signs of recovery.
“You say it wasn’t the start to the season that we envisaged — but I think we anticipated what was coming,” Williams said. “I definitely feel that we can see some light at the end of the tunnel now and I think probably just from the time sheets and the race in Barcelona, we demonstrated that we are closing that gap.
“It may be slow but we all know that it takes time to bring performance to your car. There’s definitely a lot of good work going on back at the factory that people may not necessarily be seeing yet.
“The aero team are doing a great job finding performance in the tunnel and we’re going to be bringing that to races over the coming weeks and months with a package coming mid-way through the season that we will hope will bring some significant performance to us.
“Yes, there are definitely signs of improvement. I think there’s a certain positivity in the team at the moment. Morale is still pretty good, and that’s all we can ask of everyone: just fighting hard, not giving up and keep on bringing performance to the car.”
With relative stability in the regulations for next season before a planned overhaul of Formula 1 in 2021, Williams says her team cannot afford to switch focus away from the current car.
“Nothing is a write-off at Williams, ever. It never has been and it never would be, regardless of where we are. It’s just not our mindset a Williams. We don’t write a season off just because we aren’t doing well. For us, at the moment, we’re really looking at ’19 and ’20 … where it’s just evolution and development and we’ve just got to keep bringing performance at each and every race.
“We’ve definitely seen that we’ve done that — we’re closing the gap to the ninth-placed team and we’ve got to keep doing that as the season progresses. We’re looking at obviously what 2020 looks like from a development perspective, what we’re going to be focusing our resources and attention on, to make sure that we certainly do a whole lot better job next year for us.
“And then again, we’ve got to look at ’21 and make sure we’ve got the right resources in place and the focus in place to take advantage of that situation. Clearly, as everyone knows and have talked about a lot, ’21 could be a really great opportunity for us with the cost cap that’s coming and with whole new technical regulations.”