Williams do not want to become Mercedes B-team

Date published: December 24 2020 - Mark Scott

Williams

Williams say there are no plans to become a fully fledged B-team despite the recent change in ownership to Dorilton Capital.

Williams, while a current customer of Mercedes, have always been proud of being an independent team, even more so in a Formula 1 field which includes many close partnerships.

Those closer connections are still being forged as it was revealed just this week that Haas are setting up a new ‘hub’ near Ferrari’s headquarters at Maranello. That news follows on from the fact that a senior Ferrari figure in Simone Resta is joining the American outfit, along with a few other Ferrari garage members, for 2021.

Williams’ now permanent team principal, Simon Roberts, can understand the appeal of B-teams and the sharing of resources, but does not think the new owners will go down what is now a well-trodden route.

“We can see advantages but we don’t want to become a B-team,” Roberts said via Motorsport.com.

“We want to retain our independence, but we want to be more competitive. So for us, looking forward, we’re open to extending a relationship but the specification of that would depend on what we think we’re strong at, internally, and where we think we need help and support.

“In simple terms, if we’re good at something and we can do it – quicker to the market, quicker to the track – [then we] should focus on that.

“If there’s something we can’t do very well, then we should be prepared to buy that from whoever’s got it available.”

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Even though Williams are sadly well used to ending up with the wooden spoon at the end of the season, they are still happy to play the long game through smart investments.

“From the cultural fit with the team, there’s a lot of synergy between the road map that Claire [Williams] had laid out and we’re staying very true to that,” he added.

“We want to be a great place to work.

“We want to make sure we’re caring and kind to all the people who work for us and we want to just do all the right things.

“In terms of the technology though, we now have the opportunity to invest and that’s what we’re doing. That’s started already. There’s not much impact of that on the car we’re racing on now, but we will start to see that next year.

“Really this year is part of a long-term strategy, and that will build slowly over the next five years. The main thing is, we want to invest wisely. We don’t want to make mistakes and we want to play the long game. That’s what we’re doing.”

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