Williams needed "rock bottom" F1 2019 but can't let it happen again

Lewis Duncan
Williams needed
Williams needed

Claire Williams says the Williams Formula 1 team had to hit "rock bottom" to find a way out of its 2019 nadir, but insists it "can't happen again".

Williams endured its worst season in F1, and only scored one point from the 21 races run - with Robert Kubica's 10th-place finish in the German Grand Prix only coming after the Alfa Romeos were hit with post-race time penalties.

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The team's year was beset with problems from the off, beginning pre-season testing late due to a build issue with its car.

Speaking to Autosport about the team's troubled year, deputy team principal Williams said: "It can't happen again.

"You've got to sometimes hit rock bottom to know what your issues are because otherwise you just... sometimes you just go through these situations and you can get to where you need to get to by the skin of your teeth.

"But you actually need to understand what's going on in your system to make sure that you're not just getting somewhere by the skin of your teeth and you've got to have a plan and a proper process."

Williams needed
Williams needed

After the car's delayed arrival at testing, Williams said a "very thorough" investigation of all areas of the team was carried out in order to understand exactly what happened, which she branded "an incredibly useful exercise".

"You can put plasters on stuff, but unless you actually wish to fix them and unless you can get to the root causes for problems, those problems are probably going to resurface and come and bite you again," she explained.

"What we did after testing was implement this very thorough after-action review across every single process that was involved and accountable for that outcome.

"It was an incredibly useful exercise, because it exposed all the weaknesses that we had and allowed us to put fixes in place.

"And I would say that the team responded really well to that because it can be quite difficult for people to be very open and honest in those situations, but we encouraged honesty within it.

"In any situation like that it can always be difficult for people to put their hands up and be honest and open.

"But our team was incredibly receptive to the process that we asked them to go through, which allowed us to put in place a load of plans in order to address the areas of weakness that were causing the issues in the first place."

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