Williams F1 points breakthroughs down to "brave decisions"

Williams Formula 1 boss Jost Capito believes “brave decisions” led to the team’s points breakthroughs in 2021 and it must celebrate its results “on merit”.

Williams F1 points breakthroughs down to "brave decisions"
Listen to this article

After finishing last in the constructors’ championship for three years in a row, Williams rose to eighth place in the 2021 standings as the team enjoyed its most successful season since 2017.

Williams ended a points drought dating back to Germany 2019 by finishing seventh and eighth in Hungary, capitalising on a race of attrition and the first-lap crashes to get both Nicholas Latifi and George Russell into the points.

Russell would score further points in Belgium, Italy and Russia, and picked up the team’s first podium since Azerbaijan 2017 by taking second place in the rain-marred Spa race.

Williams team principal and CEO Capito said the results in the summer races were “not expected”, but that its near misses in the races leading up to that had provided added motivation to the entire team after spending the previous two years largely adrift from the field.

“When we started to have 11th position, and we see that we can race with some cars in the midfield, of course it gives a boost as well,” Capito told Motorsport.com.

“You move more and you improve more if you’re in the position that you can fight with other cars and race others. And this is also what we found with race drivers: they've got a completely different motivation if they’re just running around at the back of the field or if they can be in a fight.

“At Barcelona, it was the fight with George and Fernando [Alonso] which was fantastic and gave George so much confidence that the car is not that bad and that we can achieve points. The team then believes that.

“Of course with Barcelona, we benefitted from the first corner. But you still have to run through that and you still have to finish the race and keep that position.”

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B, George Russell, Williams FW43B

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B, George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Russell came close to scoring points at Paul Ricard, the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone, but it was at the Hungaroring where Williams finally made its breakthrough.

“I think the team has done some very brave decisions in Budapest on tyre choices, as well to keep that position,” Capito said.

“So the team has to have the feeling that it is on merit, and I believe that it is on merit, because if you are in the position to take the points and you can’t take them, then you haven’t done your job,” Capito said.

“But as we were in the position to take the points, and finish in the points with both cars, then we started saying ‘OK, can we do more?’. And then in a couple of races with points, it was really good.”

shares
comments

Related video

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season
Previous article

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Next article

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Prime

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Prime

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Prime

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? Luke Smith asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Prime

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Prime

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Prime

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter Prime

When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Prime

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week, and though it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted more just why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action.

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023