Williams, one of the strongest teams in Formula One, appear to be struggling this season.
They are an impressively successful team in past decades and are the third most decorated constructor, winning nine constructor championships and seven driver titles over the years.
So why is Williams struggling in 2018?
This year’s car was intended to be an improved and more balanced package. Since 2014, their cars have struggled on higher-downforce and tighter tracks but thrived on power-dependent, low-downforce tracks.
In 2015, they finished third in the constructor’s competition, scoring points in every race apart from one, while recruiting Paddy Lowe from Mercedes in 2017 was a big coup for the team.
For 2018, Lowe unveiled a new, more aerodynamic car. However, testing proved the car was struggling, and within the first few races of the season the true extent of the car’s problems were seen. In the Bahrain Grand Prix they were the slowest, and in China and Melbourne they fared only one place better.
To watch how Williams and other F1 teams perform this season, watch the Hungarian Grand Prix from the F1 Paddock Club in Hungary. Organisations such as https://edgeglobalevents.com/f1-paddock-club/hungary/ specialise in Formula One events.
If these drivers were swapped for Mercedes’ or Ferrari’s drivers, Williams’ performance would improve. However, this is a team with limited money and budget, as are all independent F1 teams.
As Stoll’s debut season ended, his performance was compared favourably with veteran driver Felipe Massa. Although the drivers should not be exempt from criticism, it is a daunting task to be behind the wheel of a problematic car.
Can They Turn It Around?
Williams have been in positions such as this in the past and have got themselves out of slumps before. During the seasons of 2011 to 2013 Williams did not finish above eighth position in the standings.
It is unlikely they will find the pace they need for the rest of the 2018 season. Even with upgraded aerodynamic packages, they could only ever hope to gain two-tenths of a second each lap.
As well as this, all F1 teams are carrying out their own upgrades all the time, making Williams’ progress up the leader board almost impossible.