The Williams Formula 1 team has been on a bit of a dip the last couple of seasons.
2012 saw the team register their first win in almost five years, but in the seven years since they’ve dropped down the F1 pecking order like a stone in water.
2019 was the latest in a spat of bad seasons and the team, led by Claire Williams, will be hoping to put it behind them as soon as possible.
That’s why the new 2020 season is an important one for the team, as they look to 1) write off the last seven years and start delivering promising results, and 2) find themselves in good steed as the F1 circus head into the all-important 2021 season.
And the reveal of this year’s challenger is the focal point around which everything revolves.
In an almost unceremonious fashion, the Williams team used social media to generate hype around their car before 2020 lead driver, George Russell, takes it for a spin.
The importance of 2020
Williams has been a mainstay on the F1 grid for the last four decades after Frank Williams, Claire’s father, formed the team in 1977. Williams would go on to become one of the most successful teams in F1, but the team fell from grace in 1994 following the untimely death of the great Ayrton Senna.
Williams would, in the years since, gradually decline from their competitive nature. In the early 2000s they’d secure the occasional race win, but nothing that would put them back in championship contention.
In 2012, the team sealed a race victory at the Spanish GP, when crash-prone Pastor Maldonado won ahead of Fernando Alonso (Ferrari). That was that for the team, and nothing noteworthy would come their way again.
That is why 2020 is such an important year for the team as they look to pick up the pieces and at least be competitive in the midfield. Russell and his new team mate, Nicholas Latifi, needs to pull the team out of the ashes and see to it that 2020 is the year of Williams’ revival.
Can Williams be competitive?
Given that the 2020 race cars are all evolutions of the 2019 cars, chances are that Williams will again bring up the rear this year. Unless the team has done a major rehaul of their car like Ferrari did, they might have a chance of not finishing dead last of the ten teams competing this year.
Unfortunately, Williams must really wait for 2021 when the playing field will be somewhat levelled. In this regard, the team can shift their focus to next year and get a jump on their nearest rivals. Teams like Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull would have already begun development of the 2021 car, so that would leave Williams with some catching up to do – unless they’ve also begun preparations for next year.
Regardless, 2020 is an important year for the team if they want to be counted among the top teams in the near-future.