Team boss Frank Williams said despite the previous achievements gained by his team in Formula One, it's painful that it hasn't won a championship for six years and his ambition for 2004 is to win every race. That may be a bit of a tall order but...
Team boss Frank Williams said despite the previous achievements gained by his team in Formula One, it's painful that it hasn't won a championship for six years and his ambition for 2004 is to win every race. That may be a bit of a tall order but the team has been putting every effort into making sure the FW26, launched at Valencia today, will be fighting fit right from the start. The 2003 car struggled early on and Williams is not about to make the same mistake again.Ferrari. Development of the FW26 started in March of last year, so we will hopefully go into this season with a competitive car from the outset."
Engine supplier BMW has certainly contributed to Williams' progress in the last couple of years and 2003 was the team's most successful season with the German engine manufacturer. "BMW is a truly dedicated engine partner and this provides a considerable advantage," said Williams.
"The contract we signed in June last year reinforces the existing agreement but also takes it to greater levels of integration. BMW brings a substantial pool of resource to the partnership, which combines well with our specialist technical knowledge; I'm confident that the agreement will continue to yield significant dividends."
It's not news that some teams find it difficult to keep up with the financial demands of F1 and sponsors seem to be increasingly difficult to come by. Prost and Arrows disappeared in the last two years and Minardi, Jordan and Sauber constantly struggle with their small budgets. Certainly Williams is a more successful team and more likely to attract sponsors, but Frank also puts it down to knowing when to adapt to changes.
"In my opinion, there are always opportunities to exploit, you just have to look for them and, with Formula One increasing its presence in Asia, a whole new market of potential commercial opportunity is opening up," he commented. "However, in any business these days, one has to adapt to changing economic contexts. The commercial team at WilliamsF1 therefore maintains a flexible approach to new business by ensuring we offer a competitive package for a potential partner's sponsorship spend."
As for the future, Williams is always ready for the challenges of a new season. The last championship victories were in 1997 with Jacques Villeneuve taking the drivers' crown and the team the constructors' and Williams wants that level of success back again.
"Six years have passed since we last won a Championship title and that hurts!" He remarked. "However, I love the anticipation that comes with each new season. Neither Patrick (Head, technical director) nor myself have ever been one of those people that live in the past."
"Each day brings new challenges and, for me, those challenges are whether our car crosses the finish line in front of everyone else's. So that is my ambition for the forthcoming season, to win every race, steal Ferrari's crown and add another Championship title to the record."