Williams F1 Team deputy team principal Claire Williams says she is pleased with the early stages of their relationship with new power-unit supplier Mercedes, admitting that they are exceeding expectation.
The Grove-based squad will move from Renault to Mercedes power in 2014 as the sport moves into a new engine era. The team has already had a glimpse of what the partnership will be like as work continued on their car for next season in the latter stages of 2013.
When asked if the work already completed with their new engine supplier had exceeded expectations, Williams told AUTOSPORT: “Yes, I think it has exceeded them.
“That’s great because our expectations were at a very high level anyway, which is why we chose them.
“You know how professional that operation is, and everything we have seen since we signed that contract hasn’t changed our mind.”
In comparison to previous engine suppliers, Mercedes and their Brixworth base is very convenient for the team. “The easiest thing for us in the whole thing is that they are just down the road, which makes it easier when you are trying to work with them,” she said.
“Going over to France is a long trip and not necessarily conducive. But our engineers can dash to Mercedes countless times and they come to us. We are really pleased.”
Williams is optimistic that they will have a competitive engine, although she admitted that it is almost impossible to tell who will be at the front of the field: “We are [excited], but I don’t know if anyone really knows where they are with the engines and I don’t think we will know until the first test,” she said.
“But it is going to be fascinating to see where each engine is, and I hope the Mercedes is clearly the best in the paddock because it will help us move forward.”
Valtteri Bottas will be joined by former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa at the team next year, with Pastor Maldonado making the switch to Lotus.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic