Securing seventh place and the extra $8 million that comes per spot in the championship wasn’t the “most important” goal for Williams, that was laying down foundations says James Vowles.
Barring the one point scored by Logan Sargeant, Alex Albon secured seventh place for his team in the Constructors’ Championship as they held off AlphaTauri by three points.
That was the team’s best showing since 2017’s fifth place and the highest Williams have finished under Dorilton Capital’s ownership.
The difference between P7 and P8 is estimated to be around $8 million
But while the extra funds in the bank are welcome, the difference between P7 and P8 is estimated to be around $8 million, Vowles says this season they achieved a more important goal.
“Probably the most important thing is that it sets the foundations for the team, that they have something to build on now,” he told Motorsport.com after the end of his first season in charge as team boss.
“You lose out on wind tunnel time and it’s not the financial element that we are particularly worried about.
“But what I wanted them to do was to stand up and go: this is the start of our journey. By the way, we’re not going backward from here. This is a new de facto standard and a spring for us.”
“It always helps having money in the bank account,” he added. “But I’ve been very open and public about the fact that we’re throwing away, in terms of losses, tens of millions.
“But we’re here to invest, to go back to the front, whatever that costs us in the short term.
“What it does is it pretty much helps the discussion when I’m going behind the scenes and asking for $100m more, which is the numbers we’re sort of talking about. It makes a massive difference for that.”
Vowles jokes about Netflix ‘expressions’
Williams went into the season finale seven points ahead of AlphaTauri and emerged three points to the good.
It, however, was touch and go at one point as while Williams were running well outside of the points, Yuki Tsunoda was up in P6 which would have put his team ahead.
He lost ground in the closing laps as he was overhauled by Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso on his one-stop strategy.
Vowles said: “I oddly enough don’t really get nervous in races, albeit Netflix were filming me.
“I’m pretty sure my expressions at some points aren’t going to be the best, but the conclusion I came to before the race even started is whatever happened I was proud of what we have achieved up until this point.
“We must remember that we cut off development before any other team on the grid and then I asked the team to please, by the way, finish seventh. And to do that, to do that by a matter of points tells me a) we made the right decisions and b) that the team has worked really well together to be where we are.
“We can’t ignore the fact that AlphaTauri were leading the race on the strategy they chose, and they were quick. So, to finish ahead of them is a proud moment for me.”