Williams: Team's 2018 F1 predicament is 'heart-breaking'
Claire Williams has labelled her team’s current predicament in Formula 1 as “very difficult, heart-breaking, and a little bit soul-destroying”, but insists it is a “blip”.
Williams, daughter of team co-founder Sir Frank, took on the role of Deputy Team Principal in 2013 and the following year the operation vaulted up the order, finishing third overall.
Williams replicated that classification in 2015 before regressing to take back-to-back fifth places across 2016/17 and set about implementing a new design process for 2018.
That was undertaken with the ambition of revitalising its prospects but the team has struggled with the recalcitrant FW41, and has scored points just once.
Williams holds last place in the Constructors’ Championship, 12 points adrift of nearest rival Sauber, and it has failed to beat another team to the finish of a Grand Prix since Spain.
“Personally, this is very difficult, it’s heart-breaking and it’s a little bit soul destroying,” said Williams.
“This is mostly my family’s team and it’s been within our family for four decades now and the sacrifices our family have made for the team over the years have been great.
“We’ve also had an enormous reward and feel enormously privileged as a family to be involved in this amazing sport.
“And I took on this role as DTP back in 2013. I felt that I could contribute and I think we’ve done some good work to turn the team around and take us back to where we wanted to be.
“This year hasn’t been great for us but it is a blip.
“We had in 2014 and 2015 two third places and in 2016 and 2017 two fifths, and we must look at this is just a trough. Every team in any sport goes through those moments.”
Williams stressed that everyone at the team accepts responsibility for its current predicament.
“Personally for me it’s incredibly difficult to see the team go through this,” she said.
“We all hold our hands up and take responsibility and not least I have a part to play in that and we must all look at ourselves and make sure we’re doing the best job that we possibly can for this team because this team deserves to stay in Formula 1.
“This is all we do. We’re in Formula 1 because we love going motor racing and we have to make sure that we create a world at Williams that keeps our team viable in this sport and relevant in this sport and still maintains our status in this sport. That’s hugely important to me.”