Opinion | Collaboration with Mercedes unique opportunity for Williams and Russell

06-01-2021 10:32
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Opinion | Collaboration with Mercedes unique opportunity for Williams and Russell

Williams and Mercedes announced on Tuesday that they will expand their partnership. Williams will stop designing more of their own parts and will now buy the gearbox, for example, but could this also be a positive signal for George Russell?

Williams tradition a thing of the past

Williams has always been a proud manufacturer in Formula 1. Sir Frank Williams and later daughter Claire Willaims also insisted that the team should be able to develop all the parts themselves. Copying like Racing Point or buying all parts like Haas was not an option for Williams. Until the team was taken over.

Now the ties with Mercedes have been tightened and the gearbox will be purchased from Mercedes, among other things. This allows Williams to specifically deploy the limited resources on several components that they still need to develop themselves and it may help them take another step towards the midfield.

Due to the enormous costs associated with Formula 1 nowadays, it is almost impossible for smaller teams to be competitive. The large teams continue to develop non-stop and small teams cannot compete with that. Under the new leadership, Williams has now also seen that it should not continue to operate with fewer resources in the same way as before.

Mercedes B team

Although status as a B-team is not yet discussed, this collaboration has an advantage for both parties. Mercedes can push their own junior talents more towards Williams, now that the price is negotiable for more parts. George Russell now drives for Williams, but in the past, the situation for Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein showed that the lack of a partner team could mean Mercedes miss out.

Where Williams can therefore take a positive step by purchasing better parts and by being able to pay more attention to its own parts, it is also an ideal opportunity for Mercedes to better train and monitors their own talent. After Russell's successful substitution in 2021, he will be closely monitored.

Russell to Mercedes?

This situation is ideal for George Russell. Mercedes are not known for just swapping out their drivers, but with the closer collaboration with Williams, this is more possible. The Williams team will also be able to become more competitive with the parts purchased, allowing Russell to show himself in the midfield.

2021 is the year of truth for Russell and Valtteri Bottas. The Finn will be under great pressure to perform in 2021. However, if he can play the role as a second fiddle again, Russell will have to come from a very good home to convince the management of Mercedes to have him transferred in 2021. If Bottas falls through the basket, a switch may have been made a bit faster.

This article was written and originally published by Tim on the Dutch edition of GPblog.com.

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