Listen, Ayrton Senna was a great of the sport, and he deserves to be remembered. But it’s also important to remember that Senna died 28 years ago, and Williams hasn’t employed him as a driver in all that time. There’s probably no reason for the Senna S logo to have still been on a Williams car in honor of his death any longer. When the 2022 Williams FW44 was launched this week, the team, no longer owned by anyone named Williams, explained the move as an effort to look forward rather than continue to keep an eye on the past.
Williams hasn’t won a world championship since the 1990s, and it’s starting to get quite uncomfortable for the big W to be trundling around at the back. How long can a nine-time world championship winning team be considered an underdog before it’s just time to put them out to pasture. Without wanting to be crass, there’s a reason Frank Williams was forced to sell the team. Should all of the team’s poor fortune be shouldered by its unwillingness to move past a crushing deadly incident that happened in 1994? Probably not, but it’s indicative of something deeper.
Team boss Jost Capito explained that Dorilton Capital, the new owners of the Williams Grand Prix team, will continue to honor Senna’s legacy within the team by dedicating space to his contributions in the team’s on-site museum. If you ask me, that’s where tributes like this should be held.
“The decision was that we want to move on in the future,” Capito said. “We have a new era, we have a new car. And we refurbished also our museum, and where we have a special area to celebrate Ayrton. I think we had to look now in the future and not showing the drivers the ‘S’ all the time they get in the car and being reminded of what happened. Now it’s time for the team to move on and be very honorable to Senna and having a very dedicated space in the museum and honor him there.”
I think that Williams has a tremendous opportunity with the new chassis regulations and continued Mercedes drivetrain usage, to come out of the gate swinging in 2022. I hope that the team really put in the quality effort to distance itself from the back of the grid. I don’t know if removing the S from the front of the car will make that happen, but I’m certainly of the opinion that it’s a step in the right direction. Eyes up! That’s where we’re heading.