NASCAR Race Weekend Central
(Photo: Williams Media)

The Steady Rise of Williams Racing

What’s been vey clear over the last few races is that Williams Racing is on the rise. Despite being a consistent backmarker since 2018, the British outlet has undergone a lot of changes.

On Aug. 21, 2020, the team was sold by the Williams family to Dorilton Capital and since then it has seemed to be improving. Although still primarily at a team that starts in the back, it has been making waves during some of the more unusual races in 2020.

Starting in Austria, it would be rookie Nicholas Latifi scoring the team’s first 11th-place finish. In a crazy Austrian Grand Prix where nine drivers failed to finish, Latifi stayed out of trouble earn his current best finish in Formula 1.

A few races later in Britain, it would be George Russell. Russell had a rocketship all race long and was ran high among the mid-pack runners. After Valtteri Bottas got a puncture on the final lap, Russell tried to hunt him down, however, he ran out of time and settled for 12th as Vettel claimed the last points spot.

Italy marked the last race for both Frank and Claire Williams as part of their formerly family-owned team. We all know how that race turned out after four drivers failed to finish and a few others had problems, Latifi finished 11th missing the podium by a few seconds to Sergio Perez. Finally, we come to the most recent race in Tuscany. After Latifi and seven other drivers were taken out in crashes, it seemed like Russell might on finish in the points.

After bogging down on the final restart, he battled four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, for the tenth spot. Despite a hard charge against the Ferrari, Vettel’s skill, and car, would be no match for Russell’s as the young Brit finished 11th about three seconds back.

What does this all mean for Williams?

These improved results mean that when push comes to shove, this team has improved. Sure they won’t be contending with Mercedes anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean they will be backmarkers forever. The new injection of money from both Sofina Foods and Dorilton Capital means that the team will be working will a lot more funding to continue to improve their team. As detailed above both Williams drivers have had great results this season, and it’s only a matter of time before one of them finally breaks through.

While some fans might have their money on Russell and others on Latifi, my vote will probably go to Russell. While it’s completely possible for either driver to hit that golden tenth spot, Russell has more experience in F1 and seems to run better during the non-crash filled events. With some wildcard races coming up in Germany, Italy, Bahrain and Turkey, Williams might be able to use these to get that elusive point.

The team’s last point came last season from driver Robert Kubica, the Polish driver took tenth spot at wacky German Grand Prix and that turned out to be the team’s only points of the year. I do feel that both Russell and Latifi have room to grow and this bizarre and abridged 2020, can only serve to help these drivers get better. Watch closely as the Williams drivers will slowly creep their way up the grid and in a few years become a better mid-field team.

The team needed stability and with the new owners coming in, and both drivers staying put for next season, I really do see the Williams Racing squad get better and better each year. With the new cars coming in effect next year as I’ve said with Ferrari it really is anyone bet as to who will dominate in 2021.

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About Alex Gallacher

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Alex has been writing in the motorsport world since he was 19. Starting his career with the NASCAR Pinty's Series, Alex's work has been featured in Inside Track Magazine, TSN & NBC Sports as well as countless race programs. Alex has also worked within the junior hockey world in Canada, appearing as a desk host for the OHL's Barrie Colts. He also got the opportunity to cover the 2018 Chevy Silverado 250 which appeared as the headlining article on NASCAR.com.

4 comments

  1. Avatar

    While they have closed the gap to the midpack they are a long way from being in it. While is a shame to see the family that created and built the team no longer a part of it, there s no denying that the rot set in years ago.

    While Franks days are over, what about Claire? The company has other automotive related businesses I believe that she could be involved in.

  2. Avatar

    It’s amazing that one second over a 3 mile course with 15 turns makes a runaway winner and a perennial back marker. It appears that it is 90% race car and 10% driver.

    • Avatar

      Think that can be said of virtually all series. No driver can make the car faster than it will go. The best drivers are the ones that can keep the closest to the edge the longest.

      • Avatar

        “No driver can make the car faster than it will go.”

        Baby Busch keeps trying and blaming something else.