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.”