Monday, February 27, 2012

Thoughts on Williams F1

Aside from their first year in F1 (1977) when they did not score a single point, 2011 was the worst year in F1 for Williams F1 when they only managed 5 constructor points. Never mind that the previous year they had totaled 69 whole points, yet they believed 2010 had been a mediocre season. Never mind that it had been the most constructors' points they had totaled in any of the past 5 years.

Perhaps the reason why their sights were set so high in 2010 might have been because of the arrival of rookie Nico Hulkenberg, whose pre-F1 resume is as exemplary as a young racing career gets. He had won at least 1 championship every year since 2005 before landing in F1.

The Williams team had imagined Nico to outdo whatever result Rubens Barrichello could achieve. Hulkenberg was outscored 47-22. Even so, as of now we still don't think he should have been replaced, and we doubt he would have been let go if the team was not in such a dire financial situation.

Bruno Senna is now the driver driver on the team, alongside Pastor Maldonado. Despite the fact that both drivers have attracted sponsors to the team, Embratel and PDVSA, respectively, during the launch of the new Williams car their race overalls simply looked second grade to us. The sponsors' patches on the main area of their uniforms are on patches which are sewn to the uniforms. The overall effect of the tailoring is decidedly out of place in the high end world of F1.

It could just be that such cost cutting measures, were some of the sacrifices they had to make to make sure they had a car that would give them a chance to be competitive. We'll gladly assume so.

On the issue of who is the team leader, Bruno Senna has 1 year of F1 experience ahead of Maldonado. However if money talks, Maldonado's sponsor PDVSA features more prominently on the car than Senna's Embratel. On their race suits PDVSA's sponsorship patch is the same size as Embratel's, but it's place right above it.

Despite the fact that he will have a much larger fan base and is more famous, until Senna distinguishes himself by his performance it should be a good bet that Maldonado is considered the go-to-guy by virtue of him waving a bigger check.