While very “proud” of their independent model, Williams deputy principal Claire Williams says that wouldn’t stand in the way of change.
There is a growing trend in F1 for the midfield teams to set up links with the bigger outfits. Haas enjoy close ties with Ferrari, while AlphaTauri are intertwined with Red Bull.
Racing Point even designed their own ‘pink Mercedes‘ for 2020 such is their relationship with the dominant Silver Arrows.
But the one exception has always been Williams – they have been determined to stay independent, though last year they hit their lowest point, finishing bottom of the Constructors’ Championship with just a single point.
Claire Williams had said previously that her team would remain an independent constructor, but that attitude could be shifting a little.
As quoted by Autosport, she said: “We’re very proud of the fact that we’re an independent constructor, and it courses through our DNA to send a car out that we know that we’ve designed and built in-house at Williams.
“But the business model in Formula 1 is changing. And you’ve always got to have an eye on ensuring your business model remains sustainable.
“You can’t just have just a dream. Pride comes before a fall at the end of the day. So it’s always something that we’re looking at.”
Claire Williams did say that the team had outsourced some parts for this year’s FW43 to “alleviate the pressure” in areas where it had “fallen down” in recent years, but the budget cap coming for 2021 is expected to favour their independence.
“We have adapted based on the environment that we are trying to operate in at the moment, but it’s not something that we’re actively looking at the moment,” she said.
“Certainly we’d want to retain a lot of that independence going into the future, and I certainly think that the cost cap coming in now will play back into the independent teams’ hands.
“We lobbied at Williams as a number of other teams did to make sure the listed parts list was less diluted than it has been over the past few years. So we’re really pleased to see that.
“I’m hoping that it will come back to us a little bit. But I wouldn’t at the moment be wanting to put another team’s rear end on a Williams.
“We’ve got to do this ourselves in the best way that we can.”