This letter is addressed to Sir Frank Williams and to all those associated with the Williams F1 team.
Since I became a Formula 1 fan, I have been in awe of the tremendous achievements of your team over the years. Seven Driver’s titles, nine Constructor’s Championship’s and a 114 wins made your team one of the most successful in the sport. Such has been your team’s contribution that it has now become associated with the life and blood of Formula 1. But I am deeply sad of your team’s current situation and hope that in the subsequent years, it will be able to revert back to its previous success.
With the help of the guidance of you and Patrick Head, the Williams F1 Team has found great success during its span in Formula 1. Since the point of its inception in 1978, your team has had numerous unforgettable records in the sport. During the ’80s, we saw drivers like Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, and Nelson Piquet becoming world champion in your cars. While during the ’90s there were even more drivers who won the championship with your team, like Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve.
Nigel Mansell especially was associated for a long while with the team, having come perilously close to winning the title with your team in 1986 and 1987, before finally clinching it in 1992. There have also been other distinguished drivers who drove for you like Juan Pablo Montoya, Riccardo Patrese, Ralf Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button and the great late Ayrton Senna. During the ’80s and ’90s, the team also had close rivalry with juggernauts of the sport like McLaren, Ferrari, Brabham, and Benetton among others, which added to the excitement in the sport.
By the end of 1990s no one would have predicted that the team would have to suffer a steep slide in its performance. But it still remained competitive in early 2000s and had a resurgence in form last year. In 2012, Pastor Maldonado gave you, your first win after a gap of 8 years. The team remained competitive during the year, but in the following year, it again slid back in its form.
It has been a long while since Williams have mounted a challenge for the championship, and several fans are eagerly waiting for a turnaround in your fortunes. I feel after such a long while, it’s time for your team to rise up to the challenge. You are now slowly transferring your executive role in the team to your daughter Claire Williams, who has shown a lot of promise and will seemingly be a good leader in the future. With the major new rules being introduced next year, all the teams are now in a sort of equal footing.
Currently Mercedes are seemingly running ahead of other engine suppliers in terms of development, and with your team now reverting to Mercedes engines for next year, there is indeed a good opportunity to perform well. Your driver lineup for the next season looks strong with the experienced Felipe Massa along with the young Finn Valtteri Bottas. Both are highly capable of producing great results. The addition of Massa to the driver lineup will strengthen the team as he will bring a lot of experience and at this stage and the team does require someone of his ability. Valtteri Bottas impressed in his rookie season, as he produced strong results in an inferior car, especially in Canada and USA and outscored his experienced teammate Pastor Maldonado in the season.
Next season promises to be unpredictable, and I sincerely hope that the team finds success next year onwards.
Yours Truly,Bharat Raj