Williams wary as the ‘house normally wins when you go gambling’

Michelle Foster
Alex Albon heads out in the upgraded Williams FW44. Austria July 2022

Thai-British driver Alex Albon heads out in the upgraded Williams FW44. Austria July 2022

Dave Robson concedes that for a team like Williams it was difficult to gamble with this year’s all-new regulations as the “house normally wins”.

Williams put a standard, if one can call it that, FW44 on the track this season, the car not sporting any stand-out features as Formula 1 embraced an all-new era of ground effect aerodynamics and simplistic wings.

But ten races into the season they changed that, opting for a Red Bull-esque design – not a copy of the RB18 by any means, but just drawing from its concept.

Robson, Williams’ head of vehicle performance, admits it is more difficult for teams like Williams, playing at the bottom of the field, to experiment as they do actually have more to lose.


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“When you’re behind, you can’t just take risks, you can’t just gamble, that rarely pays off,” he said as per GPFans. “The house normally wins when you go gambling, don’t they?

“But you’ve got to push things because, A, you want to understand that when you push them they work as you expect them to, which ultimately is the important bit going forward. But equally, we also wanted just to make up for the slow start.

“It’s important that not only do we show the progress, but it’s important for everyone who is working so hard that we do a better job this year.”

Other teams did go radical with their designs, Mercedes putting out a zero-pod W13 while Ferrari went with the baby bath sidepods for their F1-75.

Williams have yet to score a single point in the revised FW44, their best result Albon’s P12 at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The driver had twice scored in the older-spec car, 10th in Australia and ninth in Miami, but with those the team’s only three points, Williams are tenth and last on the log.

“It would be nice to score some more points in the second half of the season and I think there is a chance to do that,” Robson continued.

“And the knock-on effect amongst the whole team back at the fact and the drivers is, just to see that progress, to hopefully push on and score some points, that whole morale boost is also important.

“It’s hard to quantify but it definitely has a material effect.

“It’s necessary and right to push everything hard now to keep up that momentum and make sure we continue to act like a proper race team and then behind the scenes, there is the learning to take from that which can only help next year.”