Williams: Long-term plan will decide line-up
18 October 2012 – Williams will be making a 2013 driver decision based on their long-term situation, with an announcement coming before the end of this year. That is according to Toto Wolff, the Executive Director of Williams Grand Prix Holdings.
Both Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna bring substantial financial backing to the Oxfordshire-based team, although the sum generated through the Venezuelan is significantly higher thanks to state-owned petroleum company PDVSA. It has long since been expected that Valtteri Bottas will step up from the reserve driver position, leading the majority of Formula 1 insiders to believe that Senna will be on the sidelines at the end of this season.
“It’s going to be this year,” Wolff told ESPN when asked to pinpoint a date for the announcement. “We don't know about the timing yet because we want to concentrate on this season and focus on our current drivers - that's important. There are many options that we are looking at and it's not an easy one.”
Wolff admits that the decision will not be an easy one, not least as both Maldonado and Senna are popular with staff at the Grove outfit.
“It's very tough,” he continued. “First of all, we have been working with those guys for quite some time and of course that influences the decision a lot. It is about weighing up short-term and long-term options and sometimes the best short-term option isn't the best long-term option.
“Good performances always help and it's the last race which counts, but at the moment we have seen it all and we have made up our judgment; it is about looking at all of the possible options and the best for the team.”
At the end of last year, Senna was drafted into the squad to replace F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello, who was forced to walk away from the sport after 19 seasons.