The new set of Formula One regulations has provided the necessary pecking order shakeup through the rest of the grid, and one team that’s excelled in doing so is Williams Martini Racing, now with Mercedes engines.
It’s been a refreshing sight.
The third and fourth place results for Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa on Sunday, following their front-row lockout on Saturday, marked the first time Williams placed two cars in the top five of a Grand Prix since the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix, when Nick Heidfeld was second and Mark Webber third in the pair of then Williams-BMWs. That was a day that like Bottas in Austria, Webber stood on an F1 podium for the first time. Fittingly, they lost out to a Mercedes as well that day, in Kimi Raikkonen’s McLaren.
By virtue of the Austrian Grand Prix result, Williams has now scored 85 points this season – which in itself is a massive number. Why, you ask? Combined the last three seasons, under this points system, Williams has scored just 86 (76 in 2012, with 5 in both 2011 and 2013). Their next score this year will exceed that number for the last three years.
At the 85-point marker, Williams is well on its way to its first 100-plus point season in the Constructor’s Championship since 2003, when 144 points brought the team second in the standings. That was under the old 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system, the first year that system had been introduced.
Williams is also seeking its first top-five Constructor’s Championship result since 2007, when Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz brought the team a fourth-place finish (fifth on the road, but bumped up a spot due to McLaren’s exclusion).
Bottom line, for those fans and observers who witnessed Williams as a race and World Championship-winning organization from the early 1980s all the way through the mid-to-late 1990s, it’s refreshing to see the efforts of so many in Sir Frank Williams’ squad rewarded with the outright potential and results the team is capable of.