The Grove-based outfit scored just five points last season, four of which came at the penultimate round in Austin, Texas. It was a hugely disappointing year for the nine-time constructors’ champions, but Williams feels the new rules will give the team a chance to move forward.
There have been plenty of changes at the team over the past year, with Pat Symonds joining as chief technical officer mid-way through 2013 and Mercedes replacing Renault as their power-unit supplier for this season.
While Williams expects the current frontrunners to remain, she sees the new regulations as a chance for struggling teams to improve. “It is very timely as if you don’t have that level of rule change it would be much harder to try and improve year on year,” she told AUTOSPORT.
“I don’t think that the [competitive] form will change too significantly, but what it does offer is an opportunity for teams who are a second or more off the pace to look at what they are doing and look at doing things in a different way. That’s what we are trying to do and all of the changes we have made this year have been about making the most of the resources we have to embrace the rule changes for next year.”
She expects new signing Felipe Massa, who joins Williams after eight years at Ferrari, to play a crucial role in the team moving forward. “One of the things that we were so impressed by when we first started talking to Felipe is his enthusiasm to help build the team and drive performance,” said Williams.
“He was so enthused by that [and] that is what we wanted. It’s about coming into the factory as much as he can, talking to the engineers all the time. So yes, obviously, we expect him to do that at the racetrack but we also expect him to be back at the factory helping to develop.
“He is not one of those guys who just wants to turn up at the race track – he is an integral part now because of the experience he has. He should be able to help the process. He wants to muck in, get his hands dirty and everyone knows we love those kinds of drivers at Williams.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic