We are very excited by the prospect of Williams fighting their way through the rear of the field and targeting point scoring finishes for the rest of this season. Despite George Russell’s spectacular crash with Bottas at Imola recently, there were some very encouraging signs that the Williams car will be more competitive this season. They have the speed necessary to make it out of Q1 and there was some strong evidence to suggest they have the necessary race-pace to compete for points. The mere fact that George Russell was attempting to overtake a Mercedes car to legitimately take 9th place in the middle of the Imola race was very impressive.

Williams have a long and successful history in FORMULA 1. The team was originally formed way back in 1968 by Frank Williams, off the back of a moderately successful driving career of his own. Frank was a motor racing enthusiast through and through, and quickly built his own business dealing in race cars and spare parts, which led to the formation of his own team. Success didn’t follow quickly though: after a few different guises and partnerships it wasn’t until 1977 that the real Williams Grand Prix Engineering team was formed and not until 1979 that the team scored their first victory in FORMULA 1, winning at Hockenheim with the second iteration of the Patrick Head designed FW07 car with Alan Jones in the driver’s seat. The following 1980 season they really kicked into gear though, winning the driver’s championship comfortably ahead of the legendary Nelson Piquet in second place and storming to victory in the constructors championship a full 120 points ahead of Ligier in second place. When Williams are in form, they are a mighty force. History repeated itself multiple times throughout the following decades for Williams, winning a further six driver’s championships with the likes of Keke Rosberg, Piquet, Prost, Mansell, Hill and Villeneuve, as well as winning a total of nine constructor’s titles. 


Williams have history and they have tasted a lot of success, which only makes it more painful to watch the team flailing around at the back of the grid with a slow car that handles like Bambi on ice. Because of their long successful history and their pedigree, the fact that the Williams has performed so poorly for so many years now is tough to watch. Even more so when the family that have been at the helm of the team for so long were forced to sell their final stake in the team and leave FORMULA 1 entirely. The name Williams continues in FORMULA 1, but the Williams family sadly does not. 


It’s not all doom and gloom though, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and we are hoping that Williams in time will burst out of the tunnel like a scene from the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix with Nigel Mansell in the driver’s seat of the mighty fast Williams FW14, flying out of the famous Monaco tunnel heading flat out for the Nouvelle chicane before hurtling towards the swimming pool section and around the marina and on to a points scoring finish. Of course, that Monaco race in 1992 resulted in Nigel Mansell finishing second behind the magical Ayrton Senna after a prolonged and famous tussle, lap after lap the faster Williams was unable to pass the dancing Senna in his McLaren. I am sure the current Williams team would be delighted to finish second in any race, let alone at Monaco. What a glorious sight that would be, especially if it were to occur with the young George Russell driving.


Russell has been a bit of a coup for the Williams team and really one of the few positives in a long run of dismal seasons. He is no back marker driver cruising around at the rear collecting his salary; George Russell is able to deliver results well beyond the capability of the car. This is evidenced none more so than in the latest race at Portimao, where George qualified in P11, a full 1.1 seconds ahead of his team mate Nicholas Latifi in the second Williams who qualified back in P19. For George to have the level of ability to separate himself so far from his team mate is astonishing, and it’s far from the only time that he has done that. Russell is yet to be out-qualified by his team mate whilst driving the Williams and the only time he was out-qualified by any team mate in F1 was when he narrowly lost out to Bottas in the Mercedes car when George stood in for Hamilton in Bahrain in 2020. An amazing run of form for the young driver now into his third season in F1.


If Williams can improve the race-pace of the car throughout this season and provide George with a car that can match its qualifying pace, then there is strong evidence that he will deliver the points finishing positions with ease. We have no doubt about that!