Williams does the right thing

Williams has expanded its technical collaboration with Mercedes – to include the supply of gearboxes and related hydraulic components.

Historically, Williams has built its own gearboxes and hydraulics in-house, however, the increased partnership will enable Williams to implement a more efficient design and manufacturing process in-house in the long-term, allowing the team to focus its resources more effectively in other performance areas.

On can argue that this makes Williams something of a customer of team – but at the same time it means that the celebrated team will survive – which should not be taken for granted. Williams is a terrific F1 brand but we live in an era when brands can die very easily. Having Mercedes technology means that the famous team has the chance to battle with Mercedes, Aston Martin Racing and McLaren for success. Being out on its own was not a geat option…

“It makes sense in terms of economies of scale to supply another team under the new rules,” said Toto Wolff. “This is a project we have been discussing with Williams for some time and I am glad we have been able to bring this extension to fruition.”

Williams may noy be able to fight directly with the top teams in 2021 – it has fallen away behind – but it is a move in the right direction, which should be applauded.

“Williams is an independent team, but Formula 1 is always evolving, and as a team we must be agile to react to the current climate in order to put the team in the best position to be competitive on track,” said team principal Simon Roberts. “This long-term agreement with Mercedes is a positive step and forms part of our strategic objectives for the future whilst we will still retain our design and manufacturing capabilities in-house.” 

16 thoughts on “Williams does the right thing

  1. How very sad that Claire couldn’t bring herself to make this decision earlier as they could have been at the performance of Aston Martin by now, rather than falling further and further back each year,

  2. The right move. A sign of the times perhaps but F1 is all about adapt or die and a dead team cannot celebrate its heritage, it becomes a closed chapter of history.

    1. Adaptation is the lifeblood of evolution. A very long time ago FW took BE to lunch with the intention of borrowing in order to stay afloat. BE advised FW that he would lend him enough but that Williams were following the wrong business model!! How true and perceptive of BE!!! t

  3. @Joe – Do you think, or know, if any discussions also took place with Renault about switching to their power unit and/or other components? (Since they aren’t supplying anyone now, and I think you hinted at such on a podcast since “Williams Renault” was a storied combo).

  4. Not a peep from the family; but maybe that was part of the deal that they were legally “Duck taped.”
    It must be very hard to let go completely, for Sir Frank, though one got the feeling that Claire had, had enough. (A possible future article for GP+?) At least Sir Frank is now safe from further intimate encounters with Jason Plato!

    Will there be a review of 2020 edition of GP+ Joe? (Having just signed up again.)

  5. I wish they’d change the mane in the so-called spirit of evolution. This team is Williams only in name.
    The ethos and spirit of Frank’s former team has long departed, so why continue the pretence?

  6. I think I’m right in saying that if you track back time elapsed from the present day to last win, last podium, and just about any measure, Team Lotus (the real one) died at around the point Williams is now at, and who would have thought in the mid 80s that Lotus would be gone in less than a decade? There comes a time when reality has to set in.

  7. Hello Joe. Happy New Year.

    [OT] – any word on whether rumours of Abiteboul leaving F1 are true, and if so if he’s expected to stay with Renault or leave the whole organisation?

    1. I believe he will stay in a more senior position. I would guess that he will probably becone president of the team.

    1. Jason drove for Williams’ British Touring Car Championship team in the late 90s. Search Youtube for “Late Brake Show” to find the Episode with Jason and his shenanigans in convincing Sir Frank to hire him…

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