After the dizzying heights of Spain in 2012 Williams and Pastor Maldonado were expected to go onto greater things in 2012, however it was not to be and the season ends with a remarkable shift in personnel. Williams finished only one place higher in the constructors last year (8th) however they claimed 76 points and a victory against this years paltry 5 came across two races. After 2012 with Mike Coghlan on board the team dispensed with pay driver Bruno Senna in favour of GP3 champion Valtteri Bottas and retained Pastor Maldonado and his PVDSA millions. (however after he won a race in 2012 that’s hardly a surprise!)
Hopes were high but right from the start of the season things started to go wrong, the first sign was Toto Wolff leaving through the exit door marked Mercedes and after the car failed to live up to expectations the team dispensed with one shamed technical director for another, Pat Symonds. It wasn’t until the end of the season when the team moved away from blowing its rear diffuser that they started to make progress and it was Valtteri Bottas who picked up the pieces of Williams season towards the end of the year.
This lead to Pastor making the remarkable claim that the team were tampering with his car in Brazil as he failed to match the performance of his team mate and that he had brought more to the team than they had to him. Unsurprisingly Pastor announced his departure and his large chequebook has landed him a place further up the pecking order at Lotus while Williams have secured the services of Felipe Massa and Rob Smedly for 2014.
Much more will be expected from the Grove based team if they are truely to revive their brand and not go the way of many of the other great independent Formula 1 teams. Now lead by Claire Williams she needs to steer them in the right direction in this new era.