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Hill: Williams should switch to Honda

NEWS STORY
17/01/2016

Damon Hill believes Williams would be best served switching from Mercedes power to Honda.

Looking back on the disaster that was 2015 for McLaren-Honda, it's hard to believe that anyone would suggest considering switching to the Japanese power plants.

However, when Damon Hill opines that Williams, which finished third in the constructors' standings for the second successive season, having finished as low as ninth in two of the previous three years, one has to wonder whether he over-indulged at Christmas or knows something the rest of us don't.

"I sort of suggested to Claire (Williams) last year that the problem is they have the same engine as the Mercedes team and that is always going to be a barrier between them winning a championship and Mercedes themselves winning a championship," he Sky Sports.

"I think as a team wanting to win the outright championship strategically they would be better off with another engine and I think the only other engine you can think of is a Honda.

"I would have liked to have seen Williams opt to go with the Honda engine," he added, "I think Honda are going to fight back. They had an absolutely catastrophic year last year, but they learnt a lot.

"I could be wrong, but if they make the sort of impression they should do, then for Williams to get ahead of Ferrari and Mercedes they are going to have to have a different engine to the Mercedes team."

Of course, ignoring the fact that it would take an effort of almost superhuman proportions for Honda to have an engine capable of challenging Mercedes this year, or even next, there is the little matter of McLaren's veto over possible customers for its engine partner.

Alongside changes to the technical department, a strong driver pairing and decent sponsorship, the move to Mercedes has been the making of Williams, a change of engine partner would appear to be a step in the wrong direction, especially one which has so much catching up to do.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Paul C, 19/01/2016 15:47

"Why make a third mistake after Toyota and Cosworth? "

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2. Posted by Marshall, 19/01/2016 2:43

"Like scf1fan says, Hill is simply stating the obvious. If Williams wants to win a championship, they will need a different engine.

I consider the fact that customer teams do not get the same engine as the works teams a failure of the sports' governing body. FIA should police this in a manner that ensures all engines from a certain manufacturer are actually the same.

Fairness and equal chances, even if the budgets are not the same. I refuse to believe that the team that spends the most money will always win the championship. Sportsmanship and fairness are important in a sport, just like they are important on an internet forum about said sport. There is a site dedicated to our sport which is named rather tastelessly 'crash', where the forum is moderated by a guy named Richard Gilgen, who rules his forum like a dictator. He removes contributions, changes their content and bans contributors. He rules his kingdom in the most unsportsmanlike fashion possible, yet runs a site dedicated to sports. It is interesting. Maybe it also says something about our sport. Formula1 may be in dire straits if it is being run by people who cannot even guarantee engine parity between works and customer teams. One might conclude this is not a question of ability but one of intent, and that would mean F1 is corrupted. Maybe we need different people in charge to solve these problems, and in the mean time Williams could get lucky with a Honda engine. They would only need to beat McLaren."

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3. Posted by scf1fan, 19/01/2016 1:38

"@Greybeard - But that will be true with anywhere they go at this point. Honda is already committed to McLaren, MB to MB, Ferrari to Ferrari, Renault to . . . well, I would say who cares, but probably still RBR. (I'm not sure how the buy-out is supposed to work with Renault and the engine contracts.) Unless your team is the primary customer or the engine supplier, the likelihood is that you will either not get the latest spec engine, or not get the most significant design attention.

Unless there is a "generic" engine supplier (who will guarantee that all engines of a certain spec are prepared equally) some teams will have to play second fiddle. And even if that were to come true, could that supplier keep up with the dedicated players? Unfortunately I suspect that, even if the above statement were to come true, there is also an "equal" part of lacking in the development area for most of the teams. Williams, Sauber, Manor, Hass etc. just can not spend the time/money optimizing the rest of the car. Even if the engines are equal, the teams that can spend the most money (on the rest of their effort) will always have the advantage."

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4. Posted by Greybeard, 18/01/2016 21:14

"Surely Hill's point is simple (and correct): if the Mercedes engine is the best then Williams can only ever hope to be runners up - Mercedes will never let them win the Manufacturer's title.

Therefore if they want to win the title then they have to have another engine.

Hill is talking about a long term strategy, not an overnight fix.

"

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5. Posted by Vinicius, 18/01/2016 17:30

"They need to change the driver line up. It is the biggest weak from Grove."

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6. Posted by sumpnz, 18/01/2016 5:22

"If in season development and testing were allowed I might agree with Mr Hill. But it's not. So I won't."

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7. Posted by You Started It!!, 18/01/2016 4:09

"The power of vodka!"

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