Williams feels like it is heading in the right direction again as it tries to close the performance gap to the midfield following Paddy Lowe’s departure, according to deputy team principal Claire Williams.
Former chief technical officer Lowe took an extended leave of absence just before the first race of the season after delivering a late and uncompetitive car, missing the opening two and a half days of pre-season testing. While Williams has been comfortably slowest of F1’s 10 teams so far this season, upgrades have been introduced at recent races and Williams says the performance steps are giving the team encouragement.
“As you can all imagine, I can’t go into any detail about the situation with Paddy except to say that the situation is resolved and he has left the team, and we wish him well for the future,” Williams (pictured above) said. “We’ve got to focus on the here and now, and the future, and that’s what we’re doing back at Grove in earnest.
“A lot of work is going on behind the scenes to make sure that we put Williams in the best possible position moving forward, from everyday moving forwards — not for 2020, not for 2021, but for right now.
“We have a very capable technical management team in place that have been working since Paddy’s leave of absence started back in March. So our chief designer Doug McKiernan and Adam Carter, who’s our head of design, and Dave Robson who runs engineering trackside, they’re working really well together.
“I think as everybody has seen over the past few races, we’ve been able to bring new parts to the track, the majority of which have been adopted because they’ve shown greater levels of performance, and we’re slowly closing that gap. We’ve got more parts coming prior to shutdown (F1’s mandatory midseason break -Ed.) that will hopefully bring greater performance to the car as well.
“We’re making good steps in the right direction, and that’s really nice to see. It’s been incredibly difficult for everybody at Williams over the last many, many months now, and it finally feels like we’re heading in the right direction again. There’s more of a spring in everybody’s step, so to speak.”
Williams is targeting the Hungarian Grand Prix for the majority of its new parts, while hoping it can accelerate their introduction to Hockenheim one week earlier.