Mercedes have 'chinks in their armor', says Symonds

Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:08pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Dominant Formula One world champions Mercedes have 'chinks in their armor' that Williams must be ready to exploit this season, according to the latter team's technical head Pat Symonds.

Speaking to Reuters, Symonds declared himself "reasonably optimistic' about the latest wind tunnel data and looked forward to seeing how that translated on track when testing starts in Spain next month.

"I’m not an optimistic person but I know the improvements we’ve made to the car are greater than we made last year," he said.

"I have to say I am quite pleased with the improvements on paper that we’ve made with the car."

Williams, once dominant as their current engine partners Mercedes are now with Britain's triple champion Lewis Hamilton and Germany's Nico Rosberg, have finished third in the constructors' championship for the past two seasons after a period in the doldrums.

Last year, Frank Williams' staunchly British team finished ahead of Red Bull, themselves dominant champions between 2010 and 2013, and the season before that Williams pushed Ferrari into fourth place.

The team that have won more constructors' crowns (nine) than any team apart from Ferrari (16) in the history of the sport, and are third on the all-time list of race winners, have not tasted the victory champagne since 2012, however.

There are those who doubt whether any 'customer' team can nowadays win in normal conditions against a well-funded 'works' outfit owned by the manufacturer and using the same engine, but it has been done before.   Continued...

Rain drops fall on a Mercedes logo on the body of a McLaren Formula One car at the pit box during the first practice session of the Turkish F1 Grand Prix at the Istanbul Park circuit in Istanbul May 6, 2011. REUTERS/Murad Sezer