F1 News, Views and Reviews

Williams Misses Webber But Throws Symonds Lifeline

Sir Frank Williams whose team bears his namesake says that he feels not renewing mArk Webber’s contract for the 2007 season was one of the biggest mistakes he has ever made.

Williams, confined to a wheel chair since a horrific road accident near the Paul Ricard Circuit some years ago, employed Webber when he was fresh out of the failed Jaguar team.   During that time the Williams team were not particularly competitive, and when Webber asked for more money along with a contract extension at the end of 2007, Sir Frank and assistant Patrick Head decided the best thing would be to let the Australian go.

Webber went to Red Bull, and had a good season in 2009, but this season he has been on fire winning the past 2 races in a  row.  Indeed things are looking so good, he is being tipped for the World Championship and potentially a race drive with Ferrari.

“Our car was not competitive, and we thought that Mark was part of the problem. To renew the contract for 2007 had requested an increase of engagement. We were reluctant to pay a large wage to him, partly because we lost our sponsor. Today I would say that it was still a mistake. ”  Williams told Autosprint

“When he was with us Webber was very quick over one lap in the race but had a tendency to make mistakes.” Williams added

The first year with Red Bull behaved in much the same way, but in the second began to improve. But now he is running very well. ”

Meanwhile the Williams team could be set to offer disgraced former Renault technical director Pat Symonds a lifeline job for the 2011 season as a consultant to the FW33 car.  Symonds who was involved in the crash-gate scandal had a lifetime ban overturned recently in the high court along with former employer Flavio Briatore.  Out of work since, the Williams team are looking for someone with a wealth of experience to help them build a competitive car for next season which could potentially have Renault engine.

Sir Frank Williams (Centre) with Mark Webber (Left) back in 2005


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