Posted on February 25, 2014


Following months of speculation that Rob Smedley would follow Felipe Massa to Williams F1, the former Ferrari engineer has today been announced as Head of Vehicle Performance at the Grove squad. He will join the team between the Malaysian and Bahrain Grands Prix. Smedley will take up a newly created position in the team, working alongside engineers trackside while assisting with the of the FW36 development across the season. His engineering experience will also see him support Andrew Murdoch and Jonathan Eddolls, the respective race engineers of Massa and Valtteri Bottas. The team also announced that in an effort to More…

Posted on January 21, 2013


Williams F1 team has been left in a tricky position by a decision by one of its shareholders and senior managers, Toto Wolff, to take up the role of executive director with Mercedes F1. Wolff will become a 30% shareholder of Mercedes Grand Prix, Niki Lauda will hold 10%, however in a rather awkward conflict, Wolff will retain his 15% shareholding in the Williams team, for the time being at least. It was important that Wolff’s retained shareholding was part of the message from the point of view of the financial picture at Williams and with regards to share price, More…

Posted on March 2, 2012


Sir Frank Williams, who oversaw the eight world constructors’ championships for his team between 1980 and 1997, has taken another step back with the announcement today that he is to step down from the board of the team he founded. This highly phased process follows on from his partner Patrick Head withdrawing from the F1 team at the end of last year. Williams, who will be 70 years old next month, described it as “the next stage in the gradual, but inevitable process of handing over the reins”. He remains team principal for the moment, but that will surely change More…

Posted on February 7, 2012


As the first official pre-season test of 2012 kicked off today in Jerez Renault Sport F1 have been busy, adding a fourth team Williams to their roster of customer teams along with Caterham, Lotus and the works outfit, Red Bull. This year will see Renault’s 35th year of competition in Formula One, producing ten Constructors’ titles and nine driving titles, and they will be hoping that the RS27 will bring more glory with Red Bull this season. Having added another new team to their supply for two consecutive years Renault Sport will feel assured that they can continue to improve More…

Posted on January 17, 2012


Bruno Senna took part in a conference call with media this afternoon, answering questions about his move to Williams. Among the eye catching notes to arise from it were that he first had contact with the team about a 2012 drive at the Japanese Grand Prix, that he and senior Williams engineers believe that they will be solidly in the top ten in qualifying and the races this year and that his grand parents – Ayrton’s mother and father – were ‘ecstatic’ about the news. It’s very clear that tomorrow morning’s headlines will be all about the death of Ayrton More…

Posted on January 17, 2012


Williams F1 today announced that Bruno Senna, nephew of former Williams driver Ayrton Senna, has joined the team to partner Pastor Maldonado for the 2012 season. The news appears to put an end to Rubens Barrichello’s career in F1, spanning almost two decades. And it leaves just one seat open on the F1 grid, the second seat at HRT. Senna was long rumoured to be favourite for the drive ahead of his fellow Brazilian, with the CEO of one of his sponsors, a Brazilian oil company, tweeting last week that he would drive for the team. Senna did an unhappy More…

Posted on September 23, 2011


Kimi Raikkonen is on the verge of signing a deal to return to F1 with Williams. The 2007 world champion has been in discussions with the team for several weeks, following a recent visit to the factory in Grove. Sources suggest that discussions are going the right way and they are now close to a deal. It is understood that the Finn, who will be 32 next month, is keen to get back into F1 competition after two years on the sidelines in rallying. The timing is significant as Williams are on the look out for a bold move to More…

Posted on August 28, 2011


Romain Grosjean clinched the GP2 title this weekend, following in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg. Now he needs to move back into F1 and it will be very interesting to see what happens. Grosjean has had an F1 chance before, of course, in 2009 when he was drafted in by Flavio Briatore to replace Nelson Piquet Jr. It was the wrong move at the wring time, he came in with no testing, mid season and up against Fernando Alonso in the other car. He was too young, not prepared and wasn’t physically strong enough. Now, More…

Posted on August 9, 2011


It’s good from time to time to glance at the Constructors’ Championship table and remind yourself of the big picture in terms of the state of play between teams. There is the usual disproportionate sharing of points with the top two or three teams hogging the majority and the new teams desperate for even a sniff of a single point. But it’s the midfield teams which are so interesting at the moment. Last year the top four teams were followed by Renault in fifth, then Williams, Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso. This year Renault has 66 points, Sauber 35, More…

Posted on February 24, 2011


Today Williams had a formal launch of its new FW33 car at its base in Grove, Oxford, incorporating a technical walk through of the car with Sam Michael and the launch of the new livery. The livery is quite striking and in comparison to last year’s car it catches the eye much more. The blue is darker than last year, more akin to the blue of the BMW Williams era and the accent colour is red, thanks to new sponsor PDVSA, the Venezuelan oil giant. There is a degree more confidence about the team at the moment than we have More…

Posted on November 7, 2010


Everyone is talking about the start of this afternoon’s Grand Prix and how decisive it will be to the outcome of the race. There is even a sweepstake on what position Hulkenberg will be in at the end of lap one. Mark Webber is not in an ideal position, behind Hulkenberg on the outside of the track, while Vettel and Hamilton will be making tracks down the inside into turn one. From a championship point of view both of them need a big score today so they will feel they have nothing to lose from attacking at the start. Webber More…

Posted on October 31, 2010


For the past few weeks the word inside the F1 paddock has been that a deal for Pastor Maldonado to race for Williams F1 next year is done. There is an assumption that this would be at the expense of Nico Hulkenberg, who is in his first season in F1. Williams currently refuse to confirm or deny this, however they did announce this week that Maldonado will take part in the Young Driver test for Williams at Abu Dhabi next month. At 25 he is not exactly a young driver by today’s standards, but he qualifies in terms of his More…

Posted on November 23, 2009


I’ve been thinking about Williams selling a minority shareholding in the team to Austrian motorsport investor Toto Wolff. The deal was announced at the end of last week. It is yet another example, in this early part of the off season, of a structural change in the fabric of F1 teams. We have had Mercedes ending its arrangement with McLaren and buying 75% of Brawn and McLaren setting itself up as a “British Ferrari”. Williams was set up very much like Brawn; an independent team with a private shareholder structure. Teams of this size are very well placed for the More…

Posted on November 8, 2009


The era of manufacturers dominating F1 is over, according to Williams chief executive Adam Parr. Following a week in which Toyota announced its withdrawal and Renault held an emergency board meeting to discuss its ongoing participation, Parr said that the tide is turning away from the manufacturer teams towards independents like Williams and Brawn. In an article I co-wrote in this weekend’s Financial Times, Parr said, “This week marked the end of manufacturer dominance in F1, something that had been growing for a decade, ” It’s not that manufacturers are not welcome in F1, it’s just that the maths don’t More…



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