It’s nice of Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to have sympathy for Williams F1 and their strategy call on Sunday at the British Grand Prix. I’m not sure if Williams F1 really cares what Wolff thinks about their strategy but fans have argued that the team blew a possible win if not a solid podium finish on Sunday.
“Sometimes I had a bit of deja vu like us in 2013 when you find yourself in P1 and P2 and you’re surprised,” said Wolff.
“You don’t want to risk the team result because it’s so amazing.
“It’s so easy to say what someone should have done, but I’m not in there and I think they probably got caught on the wrong foot.”
This is all perfectly fine niceties but this isn’t Williams F1’s first rodeo nor is it the first time Rob Smedley has been calling strategy for race wins having spent years at Ferrari.
I’ve argued that Williams need to call race strategy like a team who belongs at the front and not a team who has lucked into a possible win. I argued that more strongly in 2014 than in 2015 and I’m not quite convinced that Sunday’s strategy call was the surprise and risk-avoidance situation that Wolff claims.
While Valtteri Bottas felt he could have pulled a bigger lead than what teammate Felipe Massa was pulling had he been allowed to pass the Brazilian, I’m not sure Williams was ever going to have the pace in the wet to hold off Hamilton or Rosberg.
In defense of Williams F1, while Mercedes was hiding from Formula 1 for decades, the team, named after Sir Frank Williams, was winning championships so suggesting they aren’t used to fighting for wins is really heavy handed.
Wolff himself was an investor in Williams and was involved with the team when they were running competitively and winning the odd race. The talent level at Williams isn’t fresh from university either. Sir Frank, Pat Symonds and Rob Smedley are all championship-winning men.
In closing, I recall Mercedes having their own issues with team orders and not letting their current drivers race. Then there is the call in this year’s Monaco Grand Prix which was junior league at best so careful with that big noobie blanket you’re tossing about, Toto.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT