Paddock magazine December 2014 / January 2015 Issue 70 - Page 58

SEASON REVIEW Williams: The Sleeping Giant Awakes The most unexpected development in the Constructors’ Championship was certainly Williams rise to third position. The legendary outfit from Grove awoke from a ten-year nightmare to defeat arch-rivals Ferrari and McLaren in the team standings. The 2013 season was probably the worst in the history of Williams, but behind the scenes the seeds of the team’s 2014 success were planted. Claire Williams took over the day-today running of the team as Deputy Team Principal and in the first few months of her reign she managed to secure a Mercedes power unit deal for the Grove-based outfit and Pat Symonds’s services as Chief Technical Officer. The final piece of the puzzle was the hiring of Filipe Massa. The Mercedes deal was an ingenious one as it gave Williams access to unquestionably the best turbo-era power unit. While the outfits supplied by Renault and Ferrari struggled to 58 put lap times down during pre-season testing, Williams was showing signs it will be a force to be reckoned with during the new era in the sport. Williams was the only team besides the works Mercedes team to score a pole in 2014 and on more than a few occasion had a better pace than the 2013 world champions Red Bull Racing. Only a few growth mistakes prevented Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas from going for the second position in the Constructors’ Championship. The successes on the track were preceded by favorable developments off-track. Massa’s signing facilitated a sponsorship deal with Petrobras, while taking up the young Brazilian thepaddockmagazine.com