Feb.8 (GMM) Former world champion Alan Jones is not ruling out a Williams resurgence in 2012, despite his former Formula 1 championship-winning team slumping to its worst-ever result last season.
Australian Jones, now 65, in 1980 won the once-great team’s first of seven drivers’ titles.
Williams has also won nine constructors’ championships, but not since 1997. Juan Pablo Montoya won the team’s most recent victory, in 2004.
Since then, Sir Frank Williams’ team has slumped from fourth in the end-of-season standings to ninth in 2011, with Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado only managing to outscore the points-less drivers of the three new teams.
The Grove based squad has however made some fundamental changes for 2012, including switching from Cosworth to Renault power, and replacing technical chief Sam Michael with former McLaren designer Mike Coughlan.
Is it realistic to expect Williams to ever again be a force in F1?
“I think it is,” said Jones. “They’ve got a lot of good people, they’ve got a really good establishment, they’ve got good facilities — I think it wouldn’t be impossible for them to come back.
“I think we’ll see them probably make a bit of a resurgence this year with the Renault engine,” he added.
“(Pastor) Maldonado has got a year of experience under his belt and it’s going to be interesting to see how Bruno Senna goes, so I wouldn’t rule them out, that’s for sure.”