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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 June, 2004, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Williams
Falling short

BMW Williams
Nationality: British
Engine: BMW V10
Tyres: Michelin
Team principal: Frank Williams
Years in F1: 33
2004 position: 4th
Drivers' titles: 7
Constructors' titles: 9
This season has been a tale of disappointment and under-performance from Williams, who so nearly won the championship in 2003.

Williams lost the championship last year as much as Ferrari won it and they started 2004 determined to do better.

The FW26 car was one of the ugliest on the grid, and its lack of pace did nothing to soften its looks.

And mid-season revamps of both the car and Williams' technical staff did little to imrpove its performance.

Williams' expectations have meant they found Ferrari's unexpectedly stunning pace harder to swallow than most.

Williams admit that Ferrari have raised the game in F1 since 2000 and make no bones about the fact that they have struggled to catch up with their Italian rivals.

Their continued failure to do this led them to perform a mid-season internal restructuring, with veteran technical director (and co-owner) Patrick Head reducing his day-to-day involvement and handing the reins to Australian Sam Michael.

The idea is to raise Williams' game, which ultimately means building a car good enough to match the standard-setting BMW engine.

But the experiment has got off to an unconvincing start and it appears clear that Williams is not a happy team right now.

The uncertainty over Jenson Button's future threatens to cloud their winter, at a time when Williams need to focus all their energies on performance.

Some have even gone so far as to suggest Williams are in terminal decline.

It is too soon to say that, but certainly Williams have got some serious work to do.





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