How Williams Went From Zero To Hero In Just 23 Races!
Written by Byron Hale, Edited by Hazel Alagappan
Williams Racing have been one of the outstanding teams of the season picking up twenty three points by the Russian GP, placing them 8th in the Constructors championship.
The Grove based team have accumulated twenty three points over five rounds. From Hungary to Russia with the team scoring two double points finishes and one podium courtesy of British superstar George Russell .
George Russell and Nicholas Latifi have accumulated these points over the course of the 2021 Formula 1 season, which is the Grove based team’s best result since 2017. When they collected eighty three championship points over the season.
This season has already been full of success for the team as they scored an unlikely first podium courtesy of Russel who scored 2nd place race after the rain soaked Belgium GP. In the same race, Nicholas Latifi would take one of his two point scoring events with a point for Williams which has helped the team to further secure 8th Place in the constructors championship.
The question for Williams is, how did they get to this very respectable points tally, after scoring 0 points last season with them only scoring four 11th places in the hectic 2020 season.
To put it simply, Williams’ 2021 car is a gradual but good step up based on its 2020 competitor.
Overall it has been much more competitive and since the aerodynamic upgrades brought by the team for Hungary, the team has suffered less from wind direction, allowing for the car to be more predictable, which has massively contributed to the results that team have been able to boast so far this season!
In Hungary the team brought an upgrade to the car which allowed them to be more stable in relation to car performance, as it reduced the effect the wind speed and direction has on the FW43B. Asit seeks to make gains over its rivals Alfa Romeo and Haas.
This upgrade proved incredibly beneficial as the team scored its first double points finish since Italy 2018 with the team picking up ten points after Sebastian Vettel was disqualified from his P2 finish in the Grand Prix. These ten Points showed a clear statement of intent for the team as they entered the summer break with ten points and an objective to keep it.
Once the action resumed in Spa after the break, Williams had yet another strong showing with George qualifying a phenomenal P2 in a qualifying session which allowed him to enjoy Williams’ first front row start since Italy 2017.
Latifi also had a good qualifying with the Canadian slotting in P12 which would later become 9th place after Sergio Perez crashed along with other drivers, starting from the back of the grid following changes under Parc Ferme conditions came into effect.
Points would effectively be scored on Saturday after the race was not able to take place except for a few renaissance laps as the treacherous track conditions prevented the drivers from having any green flag running. This Result was Williams’ second consecutive double points finish as they doubled their season tally to twenty points following the awarding of half points for drivers who were inside the top 10 when the FIA decided that the race would be not restarted amid safety concerns and an ever looming sunset.
After a mediocre race in Zandvoort, the team returned to Monza which is where the team said farewell to Claire Williams last time they drove around the circuit. However, the team would take a further points finish with Russel taking a respectable 9th place following Lewis Hamilton’s and Max Verstappen’s crash which saw both drivers retire after the Red Bull mounted the Mercedes.
And for the penultimate time, F1 returned to the Sochi Autódromo for what was anticipated to be a boring race with little in the way of overtakes. However, in typical F1 fashion, the race provided the most overtakes of the season with a crazy ninety two overtakes! Williams would yet again have another phenomenal race with George Russel qualifying 3rd on the grid for the race on Sunday as he out-qualified future teammate Lewis Hamilton for the 2nd time in just four events. As the race progressed, Nicholas Latifi would retire due to damage to his car whilst George Russell would fall outside of the points and would remain there for the Majority of the race. Then as the race was drawing to a close, Williams made the critical and difficult call to pit for intermediates for the final few laps as the rain continued to intensify. This strategy by the Williams crew was the correct one as many drivers such as Lando Norris, Hamilton and Vettel would all struggle on dry tyres in the condition. This decisive thinking allowed the Williams pilot to overtake Lance Stroll and allowed Williams to score a further point.
A question that I believe must be asked, is how will these results affect next season’s development. It is likely that the team will be more attractive to potential sponsors as a clear upward path is clearly visible which will allow the team to continue funding its operations as it develops its 2022 car which will be radically different from its 2021 challenger. The championship position will allow them to receive an increased amount of prize money come the end of the season likely resulting with them taking £5 Million more in prize money which allows it to further develop its future car and hopefully continue to be more creative In the 2022 season.