All signs are that Williams will be enjoying a renaissance this year, helped by the change over to Mercedes power and the arrival of Felipe Massa, which deputy Team Principal Claire Williams reveals has “energised” the team.
Speaking to Sky Sport Williams said of Massa’s impact on the team since his arrival from Ferrari, “He’s such a great guy, he’s a lovely guy and I think for him this is a new challenge, which is exciting for him. But it’s exciting for everyone in the team and he’s a really great motivator as well.”
Williams enjoyed a productive four days at the first Formula 1 pre-season tests with their all blue FW36 late last month, where they were experiencing Mercedes power for the first time ever.
The Grove based outfit fortuitously ditched Renault engines and swapped to Mercedes for this season onward and will be thankful that they made the call when they did, because Renault affiliated teams were hampered with severe problems throughout the test in southern Spain.
All three teams powered by the new Renault V6 turbo could only manage 151 laps collectively, while the Mercedes brigade racked up 875, of which Williams contributed 175 laps.
Massa also ended the final day of the test fastest of all in the FW36.
But Williams is not getting too excited about how things panned out, “It’s the first test and it is a really difficult year, or [at least a] different year, for everybody with the regulations.”
“We did have a good test in Jerez which is obviously great for the team, it’s a really good boost. But it’s a really long season as everybody knows.”
Sir Frank Williams reportedly went to the Mercedes motor home at the end of the penultimate day of the test to personally thank Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff.
Daughter Claire told Sky, “Mercedes [is] a fantastic partner, they’ve been really good for us over the past six months of development work for them. So we’re really looking forward to continuing that work for the rest of the year.”
Williams have contested 611 grands prix, winning the Formula 1 Constructor’s World Championship nine times and the Drivers’ World Championship seven times, with 114 race victories along the way. (GP247)
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