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2011 Preview: Williams

Plucky independent outfit Williams might not be set to rediscover the glories of yesteryear in F1 2011, but Rubens Barrichello remains more than capable of upsetting the established applecart on occasion...
Williams looks to be heading into the F1 2011 World Championship campaign in fairly solid fashion, but quite what that means in performance terms relative to its immediate rivals is difficult to accurately gauge, particularly in this new tyre-dominated era.

The Cosworth-powered FW33 has certainly shown strong form on occasion during winter testing, with evergreen veteran Rubens Barrichello topping the timesheets at Jerez – but how much of that was down to out-and-out pace, how much was down to tyres, fuel load and KERS and how much was down to wanting to hit the headlines ahead of Williams' floatation on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange shortly afterwards is open to interpretation, and will only truthfully be answered once the season is underway.

Heading into an incredible 19th consecutive campaign of top flight competition, the Brazilian himself says the team still has a bit of work to do to be where it needs to be, but in 'Rubinho', the Grove-based outfit undeniably has one of the very finest drivers on the grid to motivate everybody and push development forward.

The fact that Williams did not fall from the pace as the season progressed in 2010 – as it has tended to do in recent years – is largely thanks to Barrichello's presence and input, and even at the comparatively grand old age of 38, Rubens remains capable of winning races should the machinery allow. Sadly, the FW33 probably won't, but it should nonetheless permit for plenty of points-scoring opportunities, and the most experienced competitor in the history of the sport will represent an invaluable yardstick and a fountain of knowledge for young rookie team-mate Pastor Maldonado.

In many respects, it is a shame that the well-heeled but crash-happy Venezuelan's bank balance spoke louder than the clear talent evinced by predecessor Nico Hülkenberg last season, but Maldonado is indisputably quick. Whether he can stay away from the tyre barriers often enough to convert that pace into points remains to be seen. If he can, expect Williams to pip Sauber to P6 in the final constructors' rankings; if not, P7.

Crash.net World Championship Predictions

Rubens Barrichello: 10th (2010: 10th)
Pastor Maldonado: 17th (2010: N/A)

Williams: 7th (2010: 6th)

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.03.2011- Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
09.03.2011- Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
11/2/2011- Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
Williams` 2011 F1 livery on the FW33 [Pic credit: Williams]
10.03.2011- Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
Rubens Barrichello (BRA), AT&T Williams
Rubens Barrichello (BRA), AT&T Williams
10.03.2011- Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
28.05.2017 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
28.05.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.05.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
28.05.2017 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 retires from the race
28.05.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
28.05.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.05.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
28.05.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.05.2017 - Race, Mika Hakkinen (FIN), ex F1 driver and Nikki Lauda (AU), Mercedes
28.05.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08

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new f1fan - Unregistered

March 21, 2011 8:27 PM

Crash how do you get to place Pastor down in 17th place? i know he is new to F1 but there is no way he is going to be that low.I think you are spot on with their constructors placing though.

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