Formula 1 experts: Honda deal for 2018 could have saved Williams

( – In 2019, Williams experienced the most difficult season in its long Formula 1 history. The traditional team finished the world championship in tenth and last with just one World Cup counter. The poor performance was by no means an outlier, but reflected the negative trend that had been emerging for years.

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Williams ended the 2014 season with 320 points as third in the World Cup, in the years after that it was 257, 138, 83, seven and just recently a lean counter. The crash after the 2017 season was particularly worrying. If he had finished fifth in the World Cup last year, it was last place in 2018 – just like a year later.

TV experts Martin Brundle and Karun Chandhok believe that Williams made a crucial mistake in 2017 when she decided against switching from Mercedes to Honda. “I think Williams had two choices – and they didn’t choose either,” said Brundle at Sky.

At the time, Williams clearly refused

At that time, option A was an even closer cooperation with Mercedes, as Racing Point currently has. Option B was a change to Honda, which would have effectively become the Japanese factory team. Honda broke up with McLaren after the 2017 season and eventually partnered with Red Bull.

In 2018, Toro Rosso was initially supplied with engines, and from 2019 the Bulls A-Team. “They’ll probably never say that in public, but when they talk about what they could have done differently lately, I think they should have followed the Honda deal more actively,” Chandhok believes.

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The deputy team leader Claire Williams was clearly against a change at the time. One does not want to leave Mercedes and certainly not “in favor of a drive that is not even competitive”, Williams told ” talkSPORT 2 ”. In fact, Mercedes was significantly stronger than Honda at the time.

At the beginning of the hybrid era, the Mercedes engine was the superior drive in the field. This is also why Williams finished third in the World Cup twice in 2014 and 2015. Honda, on the other hand, had one PR disaster after another with McLaren. Thanks to the new partnership with Red Bull, however, the Japanese went up significantly.

Would the upswing have come with Honda?

“Afterwards, you’re always smarter. But you wonder if the combination of Williams and Honda would have done what is now happening at Red Bull,” said Chandhok, who also recalled that the deal was also a financial relief for Williams would be because Honda is putting a lot of money into the Formula 1 project.

“There have been so many articles written in the past few weeks about what Williams is doing [in der Vergangenheit] could and should have done differently, “says Chandhok, revealing that it started when Adrian Newey left the company in the 1990s and continued over the end of the BMW partnership in the 2000s.

“But that was a long time ago,” he recalls. And in the recent past, the missed Honda deal was the greatest missed opportunity. Meanwhile, Brundle reveals: “Bernie [Ecclestone] called me on my birthday and told me he had a very good buyer for Williams two or three years ago. “

“But I understand why Claire and the family [damals] did not want to sell, “said Brundle, who explains that the aim was to make it out of the sporting and financial crisis.” However, I am afraid that you have become a victim of the circumstances, “said Brundle.

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