Williams says it has no desire to sacrifice work on its 2022 Formula 1 car to try and elevate itself up the pecking order this year.
The Grove-based outfit has its eyes on making substantial on-track gains in 2021, with the aim to end a three-year run of finishing at the bottom of the constructors’ championship.
As part of Williams’ rebuild under owners Dorilton Capital, the team has hired ex-VW motorsport chief Jost Capito as its new CEO and appointed Francois-Xavier Demaison as technical director.
Ahead of the next year’s major regulation changes, Williams sees a big opportunity to regain a competitive edge and move further up the grid.
Capito, while aware Williams can make clear progress in 2021, insists its main priority will be building the 2022 car to meet the new rules.
“It is a transitional season ’21 and we are really focusing on the ’22 car,” Capito said, as quoted by Motorsport.com. “We are not going to take compromises on the ’22 car because of the ’21 car.
“There is not so much more we can do on the ’21 car. We will fight through the season, and we will push. We know where the car is and we will of course do further development but what can be done without compromising the ’22 car.”
Having found itself more than a second adrift of the next slowest car in 2019, Williams made clear leap in performance last year, reaching Q2 in nine of the 17 races.
It showed further progress at the first race of the season in Bahrain, with the FW43B proving more competitive in race trim compared to its predecessor.
While Williams has clear long-term ambitions, Capito hasn’t written of the team’s 2021 prospects, adamant it will “still fight” to make the year a success.
“We really need a significant step in ’22 with the new regulation and with a new car,” he said. “So that is where we are aiming at.
“That means for ’21 we will still fight, and want to make the best out of it. But we are not measuring the success in points or in positions. We try to understand the car more.
“Of course we do some smaller developments when we know something is wrong, or we can improve. Of course, we will do that, but we will not be sacrificing on the ’22 car.”