Claire Williams says slipping down the Formula One pecking order in 2016 will avoid her team “resting on their laurels”.
Having secured third in the previous two Constructors’ championships, the Grove-based outfit fell down to fifth this year with Valtteri Bottas’ podium finish in Canada the high point in an otherwise challenging campaign.
"We've had a bit of a dip this year but it reinvigorates you, not that we were resting on our laurels, it makes you look even harder and more closely at areas you need to improve on and that's what we're doing,” Williams told Autosport.
Pat Symonds, who will leave the team on December 31, admitted to F1i’s Chris Medland that Williams did not expect to be overhauled by Force India, which runs on a similar budget.
While the chief technical officer attributed the slump to a lack of development halfway through the season, Williams points to “fundamental flaws” in the FW38 package.
“You have to look at areas of weakness and Frank [Williams] has always said performance is aero, aero, aero,” she added.
"There are some fundamental flaws when it comes to the performance of the car from that aspect but that is not to point fingers at one department.
“There are areas to improve on across the whole team. If we were doing things perfectly, we'd be winning the world championship and we're not.”
Williams last won a race at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix with Pastor Maldonado, while its most recent Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles stretch back to 1997 with Jacques Villeneuve and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.