Crisis at Williams, Aero chief gone, Kubica leaving?

Why are Williams F1 so bad? With the dawn of the 2014 Hybrid era, Williams shot back to the sharp end, fuelled by the dominant Mercedes Power Unit, but since then the team have slowly returned to the midfield, and finally for 2018, the back of the grid.

In an attempt to arrest this backward trend, Williams agreed to let go Bottas to Mercedes in return for Mercedes technical man, Paddy Lowe. Bottas fulfilled a requirement for Mercedes who needed to replace Hamilton’s team mate Nico Rosberg after his shock retirement. Thereby, giving Williams a technical director who had a hand in the dominant Mercedes setup. Despite these moves, 2018 marks the lowest point for the British team who sit firmly at the back of the grid.

The team have signed the dregs of the driver pool for 2018 after previous driver Felipe Massa finally retired proper last year. A one armed ex F1 genius, a well backed Russian boy and a rich Canadian son of a billionaire. Perhaps only Kubica, the said one armed driver of repute could be the teams best hope of progress.

Alas, this may not be the case.

Talk in the paddock is that Toro Rosso may indeed be looking at Kubica as a potential mid season replacement for the poorly performing Brendan Hartley. Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko alluded to the fact that the New Zealander might well be gone from Toro Rosso mid season.

“The situation around Brendon is not pleasing. We will go through this in peace and see what we can do in the future.” says Marko to the Austrian press.

Back at Williams, both race drivers & reserve driver Robert Kubica have bemoaned at the lack of driveability of the new FW41, which appears to suffer from a fundamental lack of grip and balance. The team are currently on just four points, and are last in the Constructor’s Championship.

Further woe continues as lead aerodynamicist Dirk De Beer has now left the team only a month since the departure of chief designer Ed Wood.

Chief Engineer Doug McKiernan will “assume full responsibility over the aerodynamic and design direction of the car” say Williams.

“Dave Wheater is stepping up to take on the role as Head of Aerodynamics. The team would like to thank Dirk for his hard work over the past year and wish him the best for the future.”

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15 responses to “Crisis at Williams, Aero chief gone, Kubica leaving?

  1. I wonder why no one has demanded for Claire’s head to roll… Is it because she is a women? Is it because she is Frank’s daughter? Any other team boss would’ve been sacked with such appalling results. From 4th (best of the rest) to last…

      • Mike O’Driscoll is Group Chief Executive Officer of Williams. You can’t pin the blame on Clare Williams for the teams woes (she’s Deputy Team Principal, Paddy Lowe is Chief Technical Officer). If you’ve not got a works deal with a manufacturer, then you either succeed in the midfield but progress no further than that or you drop off to the back of the grid while struggling to keep the Team afloat in this current hybrid formula. It looks like Williams will try and get a works deal when the regulations change.

        Williams won’t want to admit it, but I think they may regret not putting Kubica in a race seat.

        • Claire Williams runs the F1 team and its decline has occurred on her watch. And unlike other times that Williams dropped down the ranks, this isn’t the result of losing an engine deal – they have the best F1 engine available. With the trajectory that Williams is on – they could be a basketcase and beyond saving by the time 2021 rolls around.

        • And don’t forget the massive budget Williams has compared to the teams they are fighting at the back…

  2. Not sure how they expected Paddy Lowe to build up Williams to former glory. He’s the one who build the cars that led to McLarens fall from grace, and he didn’t have a hand in the dominant Mercedes set up, he replaced the guy who did.

      • Ross Brawn is the one who set up the team for the rule changes in 2014, leading to the massive advantage that mercedes is still profiting from. both paddy and toto inherited the success, but ross brawn is the one responsible for it. and if you look at paddy lowes record as td at mclaren, it’s patchy at best. wasn’t he the one responsible for the moronic decision to ditch the fastest car of the second half of 2012 and start from scratch for 2013, with a fundamentally flawed result? mclaren hasn’t won a grand prix ever since, yet somehow paddy lowe is supped to be a technical genius.

    • Very true comments! Never got why Williams wanted to touch him. Then again they had years with … don’t know the name but they stuck with this engineer who really sucked.
      Rob smedley ? Or was he the race engineer of Felipe baby?

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