Coulthard on McLaren & Williams: "Success doesn't come from the name"

02-11-2018 19:20
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Coulthard on McLaren & Williams: Success doesn't come from the name

Former F1 driver David Coulthard has expressed criticism on his former teams McLaren and Williams, as the 13-time Grand Prix winner stressed that both teams need structural changes if they want to climb back to the top where they once were.

McLaren's situation isn't quite as bad as Williams's situation, but both teams are nowhere near where they used to be. They're two of the most successful teams in the history of the sport, yet Williams are in last place now in the constructors' championship and McLaren sixth.

It's hard to watch for Coulthard, who spent a year at Williams in his debut year in F1 in 1994 before joining McLaren for nine years of his career. But at the same time, he knows that nothing will change unless things get really shaken up.

"By using the same ingredients, you are going to get the same cake every time," he explained to BBC Sport.

"It's confusing and disappointing to see the difficulty they have gone through. Success comes from the people, not the name on the door.

"It isn't self-sustaining and it is all about the people involved at any given period. Clearly, both those teams have not been able to energise, reinvent and attract young talent and that is what they have to focus on.

"They need to change the structures they have in place and bring in the young talent, that is where the energy comes from. You need to be challenged to reinvent yourself otherwise everything becomes a bit stale and that's what has happened with those teams.

"I remember asking Patrick Head if the success of a team is down to money or brain power.

"And he was very clear and said 'brain power'. So both teams need to harness and energise that brain power and they can be back winning again in the future."

The Scot remains hopeful though, as both teams have signed a very promising British driver to their line-up in 2019; Lando Norris at McLaren and George Russell at Williams. 

"In George Russell for Williams, and Lando Norris with McLaren, they have signed have two great young talents who will now get their opportunity for long careers and successful careers and can bring the teams along with them."

That's more likely for Norris to happen than for Russell, we think. Not because Norris is a better driver, but simply because Russell is owned by Mercedes, and he'll want to make the step up to either Mercedes or a different (better) partner team of the Germans when he can. Norris is signed at McLaren, so he could help the team rise from the ashes.

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