Disappointing end to season for Williams

After coming so close to winning one, or perhaps even both of the championships, the end of the 2003 season was a little bit of a let down for Williams. Not so long ago there was just one point between Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher,...

After coming so close to winning one, or perhaps even both of the championships, the end of the 2003 season was a little bit of a let down for Williams. Not so long ago there was just one point between Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher, and Williams was leading the constructors' standings.

Montoya's hopes were dashed at Indianapolis and the team's chances came to nothing at Suzuka after Montoya retired when leading the race, and Ralf Schumacher finished outside the points. However, it's not all doom and gloom for Williams; technical director Patrick Head is confident the team has made progress.

"We've made a lot of progress this season, we've by the skin of our teeth finished second in the constructors' championship," he said. "We were second last year, and this year it's a strong second whereas last year it was a sort of weak second. So we've definitely made progress, although obviously at the moment it's disappointing."

"We certainly had the capability of winning both championships this year -- three races ago Juan was one point behind Michael and we were eight points in the lead of the constructors' championship. The last three races have been rather disappointing, but we're a strong team and we've got strength in depth, and we'll be working very hard next year."

Head congratulated Schumacher and Ferrari but is determined to beat them next season: "He (Schumacher) is a fantastic driver, there's no doubt about that," he commented. "Ferrari are a great team and they've come out in the front this year, but it's our job to beat them."

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen agreed it was a disappointing way to end the season, but is generally satisifed with what was BMW's best year so far. "With hindsight, we can still say that it is clear that this year we made a big jump forward," he said. "With four victories, including two one-two finishes, this was our strongest season so far. We managed to keep the Constructors' title undecided until the last race."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Patrick Head , Mario Theissen
Teams Ferrari , Williams