F1

'Fresh blood' for Williams in 2005

'Fresh blood' for Williams in 2005

For the first time in four years Williams will have a different driver line up in 2005 with Mark Webber and Jenson Button. The team appears positive that the Button deal is done and Webber was signed in July. Williams has struggled this season,...

For the first time in four years Williams will have a different driver line up in 2005 with Mark Webber and Jenson Button. The team appears positive that the Button deal is done and Webber was signed in July. Williams has struggled this season, its competitiveness falling below expectations and it currently lies fourth in the constructors' standings.

Mark Webber.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

Technical director Sam Michael believes that Webber and Button will give a new focus next year. "A real motivating force within the team is something we have lacked for the last twelve months," he said, according to the team website.

"Obviously we have two drivers at the moment that are off elsewhere, and although they have tried as hard as they can, they can never completely motivate the team to succeed in the same way as two fresh guys who know they are here for a long time."

"Obviously the feedback will help decide our direction, Mark has quite a strong character and so has Jenson, and we expect those two guys to drive this company hard."

"They are fresh blood, if you like, but they've also got enough experience under the belt -- three or four years now -- not to be 'green', so they know what is required to make the cars go fast and help us do that."

As for this year, Williams reverted to a conventional nose shape on the FW26 in Hungary as part of a new aerodynamic package. BMW motorsport director Mario Thiessen was pleased with the performance and believes the change will bring more results in the last races of the season.

"I'm very satisfied with the new parts," he said. "One has to consider we haven't been able to test them on the track due to the August testing ban, but only in the wind tunnel."

"We are confident that the measures taken are a step in the right direction. The old front design didn't offer enough room for development, which is why we decided to go for a change. Now we are hoping to have a solid basis for the final five races of the season."

Meanwhile, Ralf Schumacher hopes to return to racing at the Italian Grand Prix but will first have to prove his fitness. Williams is scheduled to test at the Monza circuit at the start of September in preparation for the race and Schumacher is aiming to take part.

"At first, Ralf's medic, Dr Peil, will have to decide if Ralf is fit enough to contest a test," said Sid Watkins. "Then Ralf will have to complete a further test before he can contest a race."

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