Analysis: The Progress of Williams Racing

Alex Albon for Williams

One of the most historic teams in F1 has not won a championship since 1997. How can they get back on top? What is next for Williams Racing?

Williams Racing is a premier name in the world of Formula 1. The team has a total of 9 Constructors’ Championships and 7 Drivers’ Championships. However, their successful history has been forgotten by many fans around the world. Their seemingly forgotten history comes undoubtedly from their poor seasons since 1997. From 2018-present, the Williams team has accumulated a total of 54 points. To put this into context, Red Bull has a total of 540 points so far this season. Here are some of the recent changes that Williams has made to help bring them back to their former glory:

The Appointment of James Vowles

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In February prior to the 2023 season, Williams chose James Vowles to lead the team. So far, he has led the team to a total of 15 points this season. With 9 races left on the calendar, the Williams team has a chance to score many more valuable points. The team sits in P7 this season and will battle Haas to keep that position throughout the rest of the campaign. It is likely that P7 is their ceiling considering Alpine, who sit in sixth, have a total of 73 points. This would be considered a successful year for Williams and team boss James Vowles. His team is performing much better than last year when Williams placed last with 8 total points.

The team has shown flashes of speed and is one of the quickest cars in a straight line. He has been instrumental in the car’s engineering, and it showed this past weekend in Zandvoort. Vowles is orchestrating this team very well and could help bring Williams from the bottom to a respectable midfield team.

Alexander Albon

By far one of the greatest moves that Williams has made in recent years is bringing Albon to their driver lineup. It was no small task in finding a replacement for former Williams Racing driver, George Russell, but Albon has been phenomenal. He has exceeded expectations since he began to drive for the team.

Albon has secured 19 points for Williams since he joined them for the 2022 season. He is the only driver to consistently deliver points for the team and has done so in spectacular fashion. Some are giving him the title of the “Tire Whisperer” because of how he is able to manage the condition of his tires so well. This is most notably seen in Australia during 2022 and this past weekend in Zandvoort, where he stayed on his soft tires much longer than any other driver.

Williams Racing has secured Albon for next season and should make it a priority to extend his contract when given the chance. He could be the future of this team’s rebuild process and help propel them back to success.

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Logan Sargeant

Sargeant joined Williams Racing as a rookie this season. The American has shown flashes of ability but has been unable to secure points this season. He was able to make it into Q3 during the Dutch Grand Prix, but crashed and was unable to finish the race on Sunday. It is crucial for Sargeant to become more consistent and show that he has a place in Formula 1.

This weekend he has the opportunity to showcase his talents and score his first points. Monza should be a track that suits the Williams car because they will be able to use their straight-line speed to their advantage. If Sargeant keeps the car on track, avoids penalties and mistakes, and follows a great team strategy, he and Albon can both grab valuable points for the team. Sargeant does not have a contract for next season, so the clock is ticking for him to earn an extension.

The Future

While Williams Racing is far from claiming a Constructors’ Championship, they have made positive strides compared to where they have been in recent seasons. If pieces fall into place for James Vowles, then they could potentially accomplish great things once again.