Williams Baffled by their own Upgrades in 2016

The wind has been swept from the sails at Williams so far this season. Focus has already shifted to 2017 as they cling to 4th in the constructors standings. 

Williams have out-developed the teams around them in the past few seasons, but have hit a wall in 2016. Challenging for podiums seems beyond the FW-38 this year, especially after the revival of Red Bull and ever-dominance of Mercedes.

Throughout the first-half of this season, Williams have looked to decrease the gap by bringing significant upgrades to the car. As technical director for Williams, Pat Symonds explains that these upgrades haven’t worked.

In the last two years, we’ve been proud that we have brought things to the track that have performed as we anticipated.

During that time, there was only one thing we brought that it didn’t do what we hoped it would do so that is a pretty good record. This year, we’ve had two quite major developments and they haven’t delivered as much as we expected.

We have made a call to switch to next year’s car quite early on. We’ve introduced fewer upgrades than normal and some of those haven’t performed as well as we hoped they would.

I’ll be honest and say we’re not completely sure [why] yet and we’re having a big investigation into it right now. We will get to the bottom of it, it’s the nature of the way we work at Williams, and we do go into things in a lot of detail so we will sort it.”

– Pat Symonds

bottas kerb

Valtteri Bottas currently sits 7th in the driver standings and team-mate Felipe Massa remains in 9th. 7th is probably the best that the Williams drivers can manage this season given that the top three teams remain consistent in the top six. The objective for the remainder of the season will be to keep Force India from overtaking them in the constructors battle for 4th. That relies on Massa keeping his car out of the wars and in the points.