Williams - the inexorable slide...

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
I've just read this on Autosport, and my heart sank:

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/92738

Kolles in the frame to be team principle at Williams?? :o Seriously??

In all fairness to Dr Kolles, he did a good job in keeping HRT afloat enough for them to make the grid last year and this year, but is he really being considered as the man to be entrusted with bringing Williams back up to the sharp end of the grid? He has hardly set the grid alight in his previous incarnations - he was team principle during Jordan's death-throes after all. :tumbleweed:

I'm appalled, frankly - ever since the running of this historic team was handed over to Adam Parr, Williams have slid inexorably down toward the lower midfield. They have haemorraged sponsors, squandered partnership opportunities and been forced to take on pay-drivers to remain afloat.

It is dreadful to witness - a bit like watching a loved relative gradually grow old and wither away in front of you.:disappointed:
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
It is sad to see such a historically great team slide downhill in this fashion.But I do feel that much of this has been brought about by Frank Williams himself
His stubborness in refusing to accept the various offers made from BMW amongst others all contributed to their slow slide down the order to where they are now. Their flotation on the Frankfurt Stock market had absolutely nothing to do with raising money for the company as all of the money raised went to Patrick Head and Frank Williams.
Sad but true.
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
Indeed Sportsman - given how the whole BMW experiment eventually played out though, I'm sure Frank felt vindicated in his decision to resist selling to them (but perhaps they might not have quit F1 quite as quickly if they'd maintained the Williams form of 2003?).

This current news however certainly seems to indicate that they really don't have much of a plan to claw their way back up to the front. The greatest pity is that they still generate good ideas, such as the micro-gearbox and the flywheel KERs.

Perhaps I'm being too quick to ring the "bring out your dead" bell - but it doesn't look likely that they'll be around as the Williams we remember for very much longer...
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
7 May 2010, Oxford, UK. Williams Hybrid Power’s novel flywheel technology helped to power an impressive hybrid performance at this weekend’s Nürburgring 24hr race. The Manthey Racing-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, which uses WHP’s magnetically-loaded composite flywheel system, led the race in the last third of the marathon event, taking the lead at 22:57hrs on Saturday night. The four-man squad of Jörg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz, Marco Holzer & Martin Ragginger maintained position at the front of the field for eight hours until engine problems prematurely curtailed their impressive performance - just a tantalising hour and a quarter from the finish line. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid was one of 33 Porsches to take the start line in a field of 200 entries in this classic endurance race on the Nordschleife.

According to Porsche, the 911 with its innovative drive concept, was able to gradually extend its lead through the high efficiency of its hybrid technology and its fuel consumption advantage. The hybrid car needed to pit every ten laps to refuel, whereas its rivals were forced to stop approximately every eight laps . “The hybrid system worked like a dream,” commented works driver, Richard Lietz.
Williams Hybrid Power’s Managing Director, Ian Foley, said, “We are all naturally disappointed for Porsche that their enormous efforts did not result in a landmark victory on Sunday. However, I think everyone recognises that their courageous and intelligent pursuit of new technologies which save fuel and reduce emissions have been validated in one of the most challenging racing environments possible. We are also delighted that Williams Hybrid Power’s magnetically-loaded composite flywheel system, used in the Porsche 911 GT3 Hybrid, not only stood up to the ardours of a 24hr race, but also that the added performance and fuel-saving brought a real competitive edge to the car, taking it to the cusp of what might have been a remarkable victory for this new automotive technology.”
Despite a disappointing final outcome, Chairman of the Board at Porsche AG, Michael Macht, reflected that, “It wasn’t enough for a win, but the Porsche hybrid technology clearly proved its potential at one of the world’s toughest races. We will continue developing this innovative drive concept. That was certainly not the last race for a Porsche hybrid car.”
Williams Hybrid Power’s (WHP) patented magnetically loaded composite (MLC) flywheel technology, originally developed for Formula One, captures and stores a vehicle’s kinetic energy in a high-momentum composite flywheel. This energy, otherwise lost as heat during braking, can be re-introduced into the driveline to save fuel, or bolster performance, both crucial variables in endurance racing with clear applicability to road car application.
Among its many development programmes with Porsche and other clients, WHP is also part of a consortium working together with companies such as Ricardo and Jaguar Land Rover who are seeking to develop hybrid flywheel applications at sufficiently low cost to facilitate mass uptake in the road car market. The purpose of the project is to refine technologies that can provide a considerable reduction in emissions from road cars.
More information:
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Being a bit of a Stato I can tell you, and probably make things worse, that Williams would have to break the record for the longest period without a win for a team if they were to make a come back (this of course doesn't include gaps for teams that left F1 and came back again).

To be fair I still think the knoweldge and the expertise are there but the team has just lacked the tools to do well since BMW pulled out. I often wonder what would have happened if Williams had landed a better line-up to replace Montoya and R.Schumacher in 05 and if a bit more sucess would have meant that BMW stayed. I know Button was suppose to be in that season and would have been interesting to see if he could have got better results than Webber and Heidfeld in a car that if it stayed reliable did look competitive.

The advantage Williams have is their name and their rep. I'm pretty certain that a certain big named Japanese engine maker will make a return to F1 in the next few years as they find it very hard to stay away - Williams may be in the perfect position for them to dip their toe in the water so maybe that could see them moving back to the front.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Sportsman: :thumbsup:...I meant of course in an F1 context...:whistle:

I'll get me coat...
Sorry RoB. Didn't mean quite like that.
Just that Kinetic Energy recovery systems are a particular interest of mine and I follow this technology very closely.Not only the Williams system but others such as Magnetti Marelli and Bosch.
They new storage systems especially the supercapacitor development is happening at breackneck speed which I try to keep abreast of.
 

Andyoak

Race Winner
To be fair I still think the knoweldge and the expertise are there but the team has just lacked the tools to do well since BMW pulled out. I often wonder what would have happened if Williams had landed a better line-up to replace Montoya and R.Schumacher in 05 and if a bit more sucess would have meant that BMW stayed. I know Button was suppose to be in that season and would have been interesting to see if he could have got better results than Webber and Heidfeld in a car that if it stayed reliable did look competitive.
I'm with you there... I think there are structural / communication / management problems in the team (and Sam Michael has admitted as much in the past).

They do have driver problems and I think you hit the nail on the head when they went with Webber / Heidfeld... I just feel that both drivers are natural number two's (no other meaning implied ;)) and not team leaders; or not at that time. However, Montoya was apparently as tempramental and hard to manage behind the scenes as he was on track and Ralph was Ralph so I don't think they really had a natural number one for both racing and development since Senna and Hill. I'm sure I remember reading some very disparaging comments from patrick Head about BMW and their relationship together... not a marraige made in heaven.

I would love to believe there may be a Williams Honda in the future but I fear we're clutching at straws.
However, Jaguar (sponsored) Cosworth with WHP Flywheels does seem possible and, as I've said elsewhere, I'm not convinced the Cosworth is a bad engine just that it's been taken up by teams who are under-developed or down on their luck.
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
Well there was an article on Planet F1 that Colin Kolles will step down at HRT, Williams need a leader and Kolles and Briatore are the only experienced ones available (I presume), they need to get their act together, it could be a good move as Kolles isn't that bad, but he is very hard to work worth and is a arrogant sod.

However, when Kolles left Force India they improved massively :whistle:
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
The problem for me began, not when BMW moved on but when Adrian Newey left as far back as 1997.

Firstly, they need to find an engine deal that isn't a Cosworth. Its a simple fact that there is no way they will get the success they wish for with that engine in the boot.

As for the rest of the team, sadly, the only way I can see them getting back towards the front end of the grid is if someone is willing to come in and do a "Manchester City" and throw enough money at the team to rebuild it from the ground up until it can win again.

Williams are now "yesterdays men" in the same way that Brabham, Tyrell and Lotus all faded away. You can only go so far trading on your past.

It is a crying shame to see the way they are heading but then we've seen it all before.

The big question is "is it too late for the rot to be stopped?"
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
I fully agree with you C_A_T. But as I see it will Frank Williams allow anyone the freedom to do what they wish with "his" team.
This is where I think the biggest problem lies.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
The problem is, look at Brabham, Tyrell, and lotus, they had 2 things in common, great F1 teams, but they all faded away before going out of business or being bought out by someone else and a name change, and sadly I can only see Williams going the same way now.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
The problem is, look at Brabham, Tyrell, and lotus, they had 2 things in common, great F1 teams, but they all faded away before going out of business or being bought out by someone else and a name change, and sadly I can only see Williams going the same way now.

I can see them being bought but I think someone will realise the history of the team and keep the name.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
In today's modern climate I wouldn't be so sure about that, sponsorship speaks volumes, Red Bull, Midland/Spyker/Force India, Manor/Virgin, the entire lotus saga.
 

Theo_55

Rookie
Williams are the only team within recent history of winning the WDC and immediately sacking the winning driver at the end of the season, the fans the team had would have fizzled away, their sponsors would be perplexed, instead of being in the spotlight after winning, they had to sponsor the team without the glare of publicity on their products.

Williams made their own luck in the past and their demise was of their own making.

A British team sacking it's British champions (Mansell and Hill) after winning should not be forgiven.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
to be fair they didn't sack Mansell. Mansell refused to race alongside Prost(just as the following season Prost refused to race alongside Senna) and Prost was being bought in because Renault - their engine supplier - wanted a French driver in the team. So you could say the sponsors were why Mansell left.

I agree with the Hill thing - although again you have to remember that getting rid of Damon sprouted during 95 before he won the title when they had Bernie putting pressure on them to bring in Villneurve to give the sport a big name and a famous champion. Its not been just as simple as Williams sacking British champions
 
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