Former Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill says he has recommended that Williams should consider dropping its Mercedes engines for Honda if it wants to return to its title winning heyday.
The Briton, who won the 1996 world championship for Williams, feels the team has the potential to take the fight for Mercedes and Ferrari having finished third in the constructors' standings for the past two seasons.
However, though the switch to Mercedes power in 2014 has been credited as a significant factor in that return to prominence following several difficult years, Hill feels the historic team can only progress further if it adopts a riskier strategy going forward.
With this in mind, he says he has 'suggested' to Claire Williams that she should consider Honda as an option going forward in an effort to deviate from the factory Mercedes team he feels it cannot beat with the same engine.
“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 told Sky Sports F1
"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, I think Honda are going to fight back.”
Hill's reasoning echoes that of McLaren, which switched to the returning Honda for 2015 in an effort to enjoy a more dedicated manufacturer alliance. However, though McLaren endured a dismal year as Honda struggled to bring its new power unit up to speed and reliability, Hill firmly believes it will eventually get on terms with Mercedes and Honda.
"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."