Williams Racing may have won nine constructors’ Championships, seven drivers’ championships, 114 Grands Prix and 128 pole positions, but as of the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, the Oxfordshire-based team sit at the bottom of the constructors’ table with a paltry four points. Since Juan Pablo Montoya’s win for the team at the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix, only one race victory has been achieved with that being Pastor Maldonado’s famous win at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. But how has a team with the heritage of Williams fallen so much?
Daniel Ricciardo converted his magnificent pole position to the race win on Sunday. Ricciardo managed to guide his ill RB14 car to the finish ahead of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. Ocon came home in a brilliant sixth position after his strong position and Max Verstappen managed to avoid the walls to bring his Red Bull to ninth place after starting last.
It is always a happy time when F1 makes its way to the beautiful coast of Monte Carlo. As the teams emerge fresh from mid-season testing in Barcelona everybody is ready to see a good race. While Monaco is not a track that has been known for having super-exciting action, the rich history has always brought a special feeling to the races held in the principality.
In the Spanish Grand Prix, Max Verstappen piloted his car home to P3 and by doing so, achieved his first podium finish of the season - although some can say he was fortunate after the Raikkonen's retirement and a slow pitstop for Vettel.
But his run to the finish was not straight forward. On lap 42 during the ending of the Virtual Safety Car period, Verstappen hit the back of the Williams of Lance Stroll who was going at a slower speed. The impact damaged the outside of part of his front wing but considering the amount of damage sustained, it was a surprise that he was not only able to stay ahead of Sebastian Vettel, he was even able to pull a gap to the German towards the end. But why is that? Was that Verstappen’s raw talent shining once again? Or does that incident show that Formula One front wings are overdone?
Brendon Hartley, a shock inclusion to the Formula 1 grid in 2017, scored his first points last month in Baku. Not only the Kiwi has had a strange road into F1, there are also split opinions by fans over how much talent he has in an F1 car.
Now whether you personally believe he deserves a seat this year or not, we’re going to explore how a little known name has become one of the biggest assets Red Bull could wish for and why if they don’t tie a contract down their rivals won’t miss a trick.