For some, the Azerbaijan GP is not over just yet, although it is hard to imagine with the Spanish GP weekend knocking already on the door. Why is it not over yet? Because of Williams.
Williams has requested a review of several decisions made during the Azerbaijan GP, including the grid penalty for Sergey Sirotkin and Fernando Alonso's unbelievable stunt back to the pits after two of his tires got damaged.
Sirotkin's penalty will be served during this upcoming racing weekend, and Williams decided they have none of it. While the team requested the review, one of the reasons they gave was not only stewards decision towards the Russian driver but also the treatment of Kevin Magnussen after the contact with Pierre Gasly as well as the situation involving Esteban Ocon and Kimi Raikkonen from the very beginning of the race in Baku. Williams team also asked to review and examine the clash between Sirotkin, Hulkenberg and Alonso which happened around the opening lap as well as the already mentioned way Alonso brought his car back to the pits after the damage of his tires.
Unfortunately for Williams, Sirotkin's penalty will only be reviewed if the team can prove that there is new evidence in that case that has not been acknowledged or considered by the stewards during the race in Baku.
The saga of troubles and weird events for Williams continues, and it seems like it won't stop any time soon. The team from Grove is currently on the 10th, and last place in constructors championship. Their drivers, Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin are respectively on 15th and 20th place in the drivers standings. Although their power unit is supplied by Mercedes, Williams is really struggling to find their balance and perfect settings. During the Bahrain GP, the two young Williams drivers were the last ones to cross the finish lines, over 20 seconds behind everyone else.
The team also received a few stabs in the back from people around them, even from their ex driver Felipe Massa, who claimed that „Williams is paying the price for putting the money first”. His opinion relates back to the fact that Williams decided to choose young Sergey Sirotkin over experienced and wildly adored Robert Kubica, just because Sirotkin would, and in the end did, bring a bigger amount of money from the sponsorships. Kubica did not had such a big money behind him, and there have been some rumors going on before that Williams is struggling financially on quite high level. Many people point out that choosing over such young drivers is not going to do any good to the team, and having Kubica as a full time driver not only development and test driver would be a much better option for the team due to his experience and ability to gain a lot of data and bring back a concise feedback on what needs to be improved in the car. We cannot although blame everything on the drivers, especially on Sirotkin, because despite his young age he has a potential to fight in the top one day. Unfortunately for Williams, another problem appeared due to their decision over their drivers – they lost one of the most notable sponsors, that have been a key feature of Williams for the past years – Martini. Martini decided to step back due to the fact that none of their drivers is above 25 years of age. If Kubica would join the team as a full time driver, there is a big chance that Martini would stay.
As we can see, Williams is baffled with a lot of problems – from the technological side, to sponsorships to the choice of drivers. We can observe a slow decline of the team, which used to be one of the best ones that Formula One ever seen. Now, they are more referred to as a joke than as a legend. Situations like this with the penalty review, especially already a week after the end of the GP do not put Williams in a good light. Let's hope that a team like this will find a solution to their problems, and one day we will see them back to their legendary state, fighting for top positions of the championship.