After the controversies spiked by the new RP20 during the Barcelona tests and many voices saying it is a direct copy of the title winning W10 car of Mercedes F1 Team, in a recent interview Claire Williams said such model “wouldn’t work” for her own team. Despite the so-called “pink Mercedes” being quick during the testing, the deputy team principal of Williams believes this is not a way for Williams despite being a Mercedes customer.
As she said: “It is absolutely up to them what kind of vehicle they want to compete in a Grand Prix. But we are proud to be an independent designer, we make our own car, and we will not deviate from that in the future. If this concept for Racing Point comes to life, it would be nice for them, but it wouldn’t have worked for us. So we continue on the way we have done so far.”
Williams also spoke about the spirits in her team and her outlook on the Williams’ future. The season of 2020 might be a critical year for the team that got 9 constructor championship back in the days, but currently occupies the last positions on the grid for the past two seasons.
As she said “It’s a critical year because we’ve had two bad years and Williams isn’t in Formula One to race around at the back of the grid. We’re here because we want to race the competition. Having a third (bad) year and to subject our team personnel to a third year of racing around by ourselves at the back of the grid is going to take its toll. And we don’t want that to happen. For our pride and for our self-respect we can’t allow that. This is one of the most fabled and storied teams in Formula One and we want to see it back where we know that it can get to.”
This years pre-season testing has been much more optimistic for Williams that the one in previous season. During the 2019 testing the team has missed two of the first days of testing due to their car being incomplete, which has severely impacted the on track dynamic as well as the one inside of the team. After the troubles with delivering the car for the testing, Paddy Lowe took a leave quoting “personal reasons” and then ultimately leaving the team before the season of 2019 has even started. Despite the 2020 car being faster in the pre-season testing compared to the qualification times of both drivers in season 2019 on the Barcelona circuit, Williams still, realistically has the slowest car on the grid.
Even though this season will definitely still not be easy for the team, Claire Williams has a more optimistic outlook on the upcoming season.
As she said: “You can sense the greater level of communication amongst all the areas, the departments. The spirit has always been there but it’s there more than I have ever seen it before and everybody is working incredibly hard to make sure we deliver performance. I always knew last year that I was in a position to drive change. And I wasn’t about to give up. Us Williamses are a bunch of fighters and we don’t give up that easily.”