Williams has cash to spare for maximum development of 2022 car


Williams has no concerns over the budget cap and will be pushing car development as much as possible in 2022

Williams, day two F1 Testing

Williams will not have to consider exceeding the budget cap with car development in 2022

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Williams is set to be aggressive this year with how it develops its FW44 car.

Team principal Jost Capito hopes that with room to manoeuvre under the budget cap, Williams would be able to pursue gains throughout the season.

F1’s budget cap fell by a further $5m for the 2022 season to $140m. While that decrease has placed a strain on the top teams, that’s not the case for Williams.

Capito said that the team is well below the cap with its budget and could be one of the more experimental teams this year.

“We’re below cost cap. So we have quite a way to get to the cap,” Capito said. “We were talking about different concepts when we started. So now we see a couple of these concepts we’re talking about and they’re all very close.”

With the rate of car development already expected to be higher than in recent seasons, the race to identify which car concept works best could prove critical to a team’s chances in 2022.

Capito added that his team would be pushing the envelope with its car throughout the year and would not be at risk of breaching F1’s budget cap in the process.

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“I think when you look at the cars, it’s quite interesting to see that there are different concepts and they get very much to the same result. It will be very interesting to see when we analyse the other concepts, is there more potential to change the concept or is more potential to develop our concept further? That it’s quite an interesting engineering discussion and decision at the end.

“I think that with every concept, you have to get the experience with enough experience on the track. So every concept that you see out there, there’s room to improve. You just have to see which concept has the most potential? It’s impossible to say right now, because you only find that when you work on the track.”

Though teams have turned up to winter testing with varying concepts and different looking cars, Capito also expects that those nuances will make little difference in terms of outright performance at the beginning of the season.

“We expect it to be pretty close. Because even if you see different concepts, the regulations are very clearly defined and doesn’t give you much room. Even if they look different, I don’t think that the results are so different.

“I think everybody got something right and something wrong, we have to work out what we got wrong.

“The feeling is, especially with Nikki [Latifi] having been here last year, the car is easier to drive. That doesn’t mean it’s good. But if the driver has got the better confidence, he will drive quicker.”

Williams lost an afternoon of track time on day two following a brake fire and subsequent damage as a result. Capito said that the problem was small and “too stupid to talk about,” and the team has no fears of a repeat for the remainder of the pre-season test.

Nicholas Latifi will be getting the afternoon in the car as a result to make up for his lost track time while Alex Albon will get to complete a qualifying session sim to conclude his part in the Bahrain test.