18th Apr 10, 18:52 #1
The future of Williams
It's quite ominous that seemingly almost no-one is still talking about this once great team. They are completely invisible. What does the future bring to them? I can't help but feel that the team needs a major and radical turnaround to save anything.
The current Williams reminds me Tyrrell from the 90's. They had consistency in terms of key personnel (with Harvey as TD), were consistently average in the midfield, had chronic lack of funds, kept changing engines and drivers, but nothing changed. Until they dropped from midfield to the very back in 97-98.
What I find different between Tyrrell and Williams is that at least Tyrrell had a legendary designer in Postlethwaite, who tried to invent all kinds of things (like X-wings) to keep the team in the picture, but lack of funds never enabled a breakthrough. With Williams I get the impression that everything is just plain average without any strengths standing out - engine, designers including Sam Michael, etc. Williams is also quite a conservative team and it feels like they have simply failed to keep up with today's standards. I would even use a phrase here, which is often used to describe drivers - Williams as a team is "past their prime". I'm not sure that the budgets of current Renault and Force India are bigger than Williams', but those teams are showing much greater signs of life. It feels like Willy will soon have to take a look behind and start fearing the challenge of new teams.
What could possibly turn the fortunes of Williams around? Major reshuffle in the team especially in the design team? A co-operation and funding from a major car manufacturer? The problem with car manufacturers is that it doesn't seem like anyone is interested joining F1 in near future except maybe VW - and even then not before 2013, when new engine regulations will be implemented. And even then VW might team up with someone else, like RBR or Sauber.
18th Apr 10, 19:08 #2
I certainly think Williams will struggle to ever repeat the success of 92-97 and relative success of 2001-2004.
Sadly I think soon (Couple of Seasons) they may be taken over or withdraw. I hope not but thats my fear, because the last couple of seasons have been bland and bare for Williams"In F1 too many things overshadow the Racing" by Kimi
"Like DRS, soft tyres and "The Show"." by Me
18th Apr 10, 19:12 #3
Their stratgies are not so good in the races.
They need som new upper management.
18th Apr 10, 19:19 #4
I agree with the Tyrell comparisons. This is very sad, as they were the best team in my childhood. I remember that our commentator remarked that in the first GP in 1998 Frank Williams almost cried, he felt that it was an end of an era.
And now we know that it also was the beginning of the end...Formula 1
18th Apr 10, 19:54 #5
How good is the Cosworth engine? Does it play a factor in holding Williams back this year?
18th Apr 10, 20:09 #6
williams is ina poor state compared to their illustrious past. If you look at it, when they had major backing from a major manufacturer (the honda, renault and bmw years) they were one of the titans. without the major support they are midfielders, essentially because they are a small team: a small team who have done big things with big names.
they need a big name to back them, a big car maker to support them, more than just supply engines, and they would become great again IMO.
however, getting such backing would be very hard. best bet would be to snap up a new manufacturer who were entering the sport, like VW or a re-entrance of Honda or whoever if such thing was to ever happen. they'd need some shrewd business skills, in other words.Congratulations Sebastian Vettel. Champion of the season of seasons.
18th Apr 10, 20:24 #7
Well my sig says it all really. My hopes have been dashed and things look pretty bleak for Williams - take away RBS (and as I understand it that happens at the end of this year) where is the money going to come from? They've already sold a stake and let's be frank (pun not intended) the founders are not getting younger so I'm expecting the team to morf into something new within a few years.
I'm also re-reading my 1996 championship book and its sad how far they have fallen.
All other opinions are wrong....
19th Apr 10, 05:43 #8
I don't feel that hiring Sam Michael has helped Williams improve. Since he was hired, their only win was Interlagos in 2004, in a car that was not designed by Michael. Since then, no wins, one pole position. Their high points since include being upper mid-field on the rare occasion, and averaging about one podium a season.
19th Apr 10, 09:14 #9
Again, it does't look like Williams are making any progress up the grid. They got a decent driver lineup with Barrichello and Hulkenberg and a neat looking car, but the results aren't there. Very disappointing.
I don't agree with the Tyrrell comparisons. For one thing Tyrrell were a consistently successful team when Jackie Stewart was with them; after that the team were in decline. The plain blue cars with just the team name on the sidepods was a sad sight.
Williams have maintained their success over decades, not just a few years, and while they haven't won since 2004 they do have sponsorship in place, and new investment.
19th Apr 10, 10:49 #10
Its not bleak for Williams.
They have two excellent drivers - a well balanced partnership.
They have a new wealthy investor with that fellow Wolff who also has a small shareholding. The car is good and the team will survive.
Its not what it was, but that does not mean they will not score points.
Considering where Schumi and the Ferrari's finished it was not too bad given that the initial pit stop was difficult to make - as we saw in Malaysia, even the best funded teams can make errors.
This is not the first time that people have been "tolling the bells" for the Williams team.Jense - Mclaren MP4-25MonzaOne
19th Apr 10, 11:14 #11
I think they are on a knife edge. Perhaps it's time for a shake up and fresh approach.
19th Apr 10, 11:55 #12
19th Apr 10, 12:13 #13
19th Apr 10, 13:21 #14
I just think they have run their course in their present incarnation. in fact, Patrick and Frank particularly might want to think about handing over some elements of control and I think that's what is happening.
Christian Wolff is the future. He has drive, management experience and success behind him. It's early days but I think Pat and Frank selling some equity to Toto is a smart and progressive move for the team.
21st Jan 11, 15:46 #15Williams is considering the radical step of a public flotation in a bid to secure its long-term financial health
Good to see the interview with Adam Parr (link) in which he says:The company has always been run on sound financial principles. In spite of the economic environment in recent years, we have turned a profit and generated positive cash-flow from operating activities in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and we have a fully contracted budget for 2011.
21st Jan 11, 16:35 #16
Floating Williams on the stock market, hmm. Excuse me for my scepticism, but wasn't the last major company in motor racing to be on the stock market CART? I can't help for worry for the team a little.Congratulations Sebastian Vettel. Champion of the season of seasons.
21st Jan 11, 22:41 #17
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Hulk wasn't too far off Rubens in the second half of the season, and I would say pretty well considering their car. With the Pastor we're probably in for another crappy first half of 2011 before he adapts too bad they'll get rid of him for someone who brings more $ for 2012...
If drivers are what Williams rely on to get a positive cash flow, not much good to be said here...
22nd Jan 11, 03:08 #18"Every generation's memory is exactly as long as its own experience." --John Kenneth Galbraith
22nd Jan 11, 07:16 #19
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
I've been a fan of Williams since 84 when I started watchingFormula 1. Contrary to the general perceptions from this thread, I think Williams near future prospect seems pretty positive. They had the best season last year in a decade. Mercedes was under performing and dropped them to the the mid table pack, Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso were struggling. Fianacially, Renault doesn't seemed to be in any better shape. As long as the fans are realistic about their expectation, a "Solid" performance, i.e. scoring points consistently, making the third round in qualifying, get a few podium finish occasionally or an odd pole like Nico did last year, is the best they can muster. The only way to move back up to the top of the table is to discover a genius like Ross Brawn or Adrian Newey. The design and team strategy are generally conservative and at best solid. They need someone who can think outside of the box like the good old days when they came up with the active suspension. The main challenge is the F1 community is small and the best talents are either with the top teams, or will be snatched by the top teams eventually. I can't complain too much about my favourite team but a win with Rubens will be nice.No more Tilke Dome please!!
22nd Jan 11, 20:43 #20
I'm a fan of Williams, and I'd rather they stayed as a respectable mid-table team than go bust, or sell up to a manufacturer like many other teams have. They're achieving quite a lot on a small budget, and should be in a good position for many years to come.
Besides, they've already started diversifying their business - the flywheel KERS with Porsche and designing the F2 car spring to mind. They'll be around for a few years yet.