Our Formula 1 Journey: History in the Making

Published on
03 Feb 2024
Est. reading time
4 Min

As we wrap our look through our story so far, we focus on the start of the 2020s and the chapters that we are yet to write

The 2020s marked a pivotal chapter in Williams Racing's storied Formula 1 history — a period characterised by significant transformation within the team, the sport, and the world.
The team's reinvention came amid F1's new regulations and a global crisis affecting every aspect of life, something unprecedented for even the most experienced at Grove.
Nonetheless, challenge and adaption are what we've done for over four decades, and we're already starting to see familiar hopeful signs of progress in writing Williams Racing's new history.

2020: A New Decade, A New Direction

Claire Williams at the final race of Williams family ownership, Monza 2020.
Claire Williams at the final race of Williams family ownership, Monza 2020.
The team, grappling with competitive and financial challenges, saw a change in ownership in 2020, with the Williams family stepping away and Dorilton Capital taking the helm.
This transition marked the end of an era but also the beginning of a new chapter with fresh investment and a renewed commitment to returning to competitiveness.
Although Frank and daughter Claire left the team, their surname remained above the door and on the car to never forget the legacy the Williams family built.
With a global pandemic as the backdrop and a truncated F1 season to contend with 2020 was a transitional year, and the team focused on building a solid foundation for the future.
George Russell, a rising star who joined in 2019, showed promise, often outperforming the car's capabilities, especially in qualifying.
Nicholas Latifi joined as his teammate, and they worked together towards gradual improvements, aiming to lift the team from the back of the grid after the low ebb of a point-less year in 2020.

2021: Points to Prove

George Russell on the Belgian Grand Prix podium, 2021.
When Saturday’s efforts delivered Sunday’s celebrations, Spa 2021.
A sweeping regulation change, often the opportunity to climb through the order as teams scramble to interpret new rules, was delayed for a year after the pandemic's disruption.
With the FW43B being a stronger car than 2020's FW43 but still far from a radical overhaul, any progress up the order would be welcome, especially under the team's first non-Williams Team Principal, Jost Capito.
Nicky and George found themselves closer to the top 10 than before, but it took until the halfway mark to end the team's points drought.
Although George had his worst qualifying of the year at Hungary, both cars ended the race in points-paying positions, and a rival's disqualification advanced each one place higher to P7 and P8.
On the other side of the summer break following our Hungarian success was the soaking 2021 Belgian GP... and another double-points haul.
George's stellar qualifying P2 performance transformed into a podium once the stewards curtailed the race to take our first trophy since 2017 and our most recent today.

2022: The New Regulations

The crucial late pit stop that helped deliver a point for the team at the 2022 Australian GP.
The crucial late pit stop that helped deliver a point for the team at the 2022 Australian GP.
After their delay in 2021, 2022 was a landmark year in Formula 1, with the introduction of revolutionary technical regulations.
These new rules, the most significant change in years, aimed to promote closer racing and improve the overall spectacle and had a much deeper focus on ground-effect aerodynamics.
For Williams, this represented an opportunity to set a base for the future return to the midfield and beyond, now aided by Alex Albon, who replaced George after the Brit's three-season stint.
On the track, 2022 wasn't the leap forward we hoped for, and the FW44 showed glimpses of potential but largely struggled to compete consistently in the midfield.
However, Alex's experience was pivotal in extracting the most from the car, and he brought home early points in Australia and Miami with masterful strategic drives.
Meanwhile, Nicky would wait until later in the season to add to his career points tally, bringing home an excellent P9 finish at the wet-weather Japanese GP to have us end the year with eight points.
Although this was another unwanted P10 in the championship standings, it was a far cry from other struggling years, with an upward swing for the future looking likely.

2023: Strengthening the Team Structure

James Vowles arrived at Grove ahead of the 2023 season.
James Vowles arrived at Grove ahead of the 2023 season.
The early 2020s saw a constant change as Grove settled into life under the new ownership, including drivers and management.
With Alex more than proving his worth in his maiden Williams Racing season, a new face joined him for 2023 as our talent pipeline from the Williams Racing Driver Academy bore fruit.
Logan Sargeant, America's first full-time F1 driver since 2007, stepped up to the pinnacle of motorsport after showing his potential in Formula 2 as the top rookie, including piloting our FW44 in some 2022 FP1 sessions.
There were changes at the top, too, with James Vowles joining the team to spearhead the charge after celebrating eight consecutive championship-winning seasons thanks to his strategic expertise.
The FW45, our 2023 challenger, was a step forward in performance, and Alex took points at the season-opening Bahrain GP, with Logan just two places behind.
Getting stronger and stronger as the year progressed with the new dynamic gelling more and more, eight further top 10 finishes scored us more points, and we took our best championship finish since 2017 with 28 points to our name.
Finding stability with the Alex and Logan driver partnership, plus adding key personnel like James and Pat Fry to the management to strive for excellence, Williams Racing now has a clear vision for the future and a commitment to rediscovering their winning form.
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