In the first part of an interview, BMW WilliamsF1 Team Principal, Frank Williams, talks about the 2004 season and Juan Pablo Montoya's win in Brazil. Q: Frank, if you had to summarize the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship, what would be...
In the first part of an interview, BMW WilliamsF1 Team Principal, Frank Williams, talks about the 2004 season and Juan Pablo Montoya's win in Brazil.
Q: Frank, if you had to summarize the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship, what would be your r?sum??
Frank Williams: It's certainly been a long year for all the teams, in part due to the extent of the calendar. On the track, Ferrari dominated the field once again, but this was expected. Perhaps what was not expected were the significant developments made by other teams, in particular Renault and B.A.R. Honda. Such a competitive field provided some great battles on the track but compromised our Championship chances.
Q: After a difficult first half of the season the BMW WilliamsF1 Team made an impressive comeback. How important was Juan Pablo's win in Brazil?
FW: Everyone knows it's been a difficult, and disappointing, season for the team. We thought we had made considerable progress over the winter, but our rivals had obviously made significantly larger steps than we had. That changed as the year progressed, however. With some operational re-structuring and a lot of hard work by all involved, the car improved considerably and steadily throughout the second half of the year. The product of that eventually translated into the win in Brazil which was, undoubtedly, important for all involved and a fitting reward for all their hard work.
Q: Had you expected such an end to the season?
FW: Interlagos suits the car, the car was quick and Juan Pablo drove a flawless race so all the ingredients for a win were there.
Q: The BMW WilliamsF1 Team wanted to fight for both Championship titles in 2004. What were the main reasons why the gap to the front-runners was that big?
FW: We thought we had made a significant step forward in winter testing but we had obviously under-estimated other teams, namely the Renaults and B.A.R.s, who had impressively leap-frogged us. Other factors also hindered our track performance, namely the disqualifications in Canada and the US and Ralf's accident.
Q: The 2004 season saw two new GP venues, Bahrain and China. Was their debut a success?
FW: Without doubt. Bahrain and China have set the new benchmarks for Formula One circuits, it was a pleasure to operate there.
Q: Jaguar and Ford are about to exit F1, two new teams have announced their 2006 entry. How do you rate this development?
FW:: More entries can only be for the good of the sport because it heightens the competition, and subsequently the spectacle for the fans. It will also curb further cost implications for the current teams who would otherwise be obliged to run three cars.
Q: The partnership of WilliamsF1 and BMW is entering its sixth year. How would you describe the character of the partnership?
FW:: BMW are a demanding and effective organisation. They provide considerable resources designing, developing and racing their engines for our team. They therefore expect, and deserve, success.