Williams: 2020 and 2021 car development a “real challenge”

Claire Williams has said that running two development programmes next year for their 2020 and 2021 Formula 1 cars will be a “real challenge” for the team.

The 2020 regulations will remain the same as this year, but teams face a huge overhaul of their car design for 2021, with new aerodynamic rules being introduced.

While the top three teams and the likes of Renault have sufficient budgets to cope with developing both cars simultaneously, teams, such as Williams, will find it harder due to a lack of funds, and they could struggle to update both cars concurrently.

“It’s clearly not easy. I think we’ve all talked about the challenges that we’re all going to face next year.” commented the Williams Deputy Team Principal.

“I think everyone in the pit lane is going to have a challenge on their hands.

“I think it will be slightly easier for the top three teams with bigger budgets.

“For us, it is a real challenge back at the factory, trying to run those two programmes, for next year, for ’21 – but obviously we’ve been trying to run this year’s programme, when we haven’t let development slide.”

Although Williams accepts that next year will be difficult for her team on the development side, she is glad that the new regulations are being introduced in 2021, and the Grove based team are using the mentality that this season and next is one long campaign.

“We’ve got to continue to bring upgrades to the car over the course of this season, which we’ve been doing, and really we’re looking at ’19 and ’20 as one long campaign.

“So, it is difficult – but we wanted the ’21 regulations to come in.

“We lobbied hard for them, so we’ve just go to deal with the problem head on and do the best job that we can.”

McLaren Team Principal, Zak Brown, agreed with Williams that next season will be a challenge, working on two very different cars, but said that his team have given themselves as much time as possible to develop their 2021 challenger.

“Everyone’s going to be in the same boat, in the sense of the ’21 is going to be such a change from 2020 that everyone’s going to be starting from a clean sheet of paper – but we’re up for it.” added Brown.

“It’s one of the reasons we made an early decision, to give ourselves as much time as possible.

“I think ‘21’s going to be exciting for Formula 1 and for the fans because when there’s a big change like that, someone’s going to get it right; someone’s going to get it wrong and, as Toto said, [the competition] tends to converge over time but I’m excited for the ’21 season”