Claire Williams vows money won't stop team fighting Ferrari
Williams reckon they have 'a third' of Ferrari and Mercedes' budgets
Last Updated: 01/05/15 8:58am
Claire Williams has vowed money is no object to her team’s ambition of beating Ferrari and Mercedes in 2015 – even if the Scuderia’s rumoured winter spending spree dwarfed the Grove outfit’s entire annual budget.
Williams were expected to lead a charge towards the Silver Arrows in 2015 after a series of breakthrough performances last year. Instead, the team have found themselves in a league of their own as the field's third-fastest outfit with Ferrari emerging as Mercedes’ only realistic challengers in the battle for supremacy at the front.
Fighting far above their monetary weight, Williams remain the paradigm of the sport’s independent outfits and are relative paupers compared to F1’s financial behemoths Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. Nevertheless, Williams is adamant her team can still pack a frontrunning punch - even without the same level of monetary muscle.
“I heard Ferrari were ploughing in another 100m into their development over the winter on top of what they had already allocated – that’s our whole budget!” Williams told Sky Sports F1. “But there’s no reason we can’t compete and we believe we can. I would love to win against them with a third of their budget.”
Williams scored 10 podium finishes in 2014 but have only registered a highest-finish of fourth this term.
“Last year was so much fun. Mercedes were dominating but we would be picking up podiums here and there. Unfortunately with Ferrari doing the job they have done, it’s made it a lot harder for us to penetrate those positions,” added Williams.
“But it is where we are - and fifth and sixth isn’t bad. As a team, we should be very proud of ourselves and third [on the grid] isn’t anything to be ashamed of. But at Williams we want to be doing a lot better than that and we want to be taking the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes. That’s what we wanted to do this year and we’ll just have to keep plugging on.”
“The guys seem so deflated at the end of a race when we come fifth and sixth but two years ago we were 15th and 16th, and we have to remember that.”
While Williams have struggled to keep pace with Ferrari and Mercedes since the start of the season, they have leapfrogged Red Bull in the pecking order to remain third in the Constructors’ Championship, where they finished last year. But opposed by such formdable financial clout, how likely is it that Williams will be able to bridge the divide to the frontrunners?
“I don’t necessarily believe it’s about how much money you spend,” Williams countered. “It’s about working harder and smarter than the rest of the paddock with the resources you have available and we’ve done that in the past at Williams. We have won world championships against the likes of Ferrari and McLaren who have always had bigger budgets than us. We’ve won 16 championships against them so there’s no reason we can’t do it. We have great people at Williams and we beat teams with much bigger budgets than us last year and we are doing it this year – we are beating McLaren and Red Bull, and that’s our goal to keep ahead of them.”
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