There are strong rumours floating around the paddock that Westwood may have had to make a lot of changes for the upcoming season. Reports suggest that many of the Southampton based team's sponsors are unhappy with the way Westwood have handled their finance situation. This comes after the lowly team managed to secure the services of Will Hoskins, sadly with a hefty price tag.
When questioned on the matter, team owner and principal Harry Westwood had this to say:
"I don't know how this got out to be honest but I guess that's the nature of the sport nowadays. It is true that there has been some unrest, and I can confirm that several of our previous sponsors have backed out. However, we have encountered issues similar to this previously, and still bounced back. We're not doing nearly as badly as some rumours may suggest, and our preparations for next season are continuing as they should."
This would mean a big season of change for Westwood, with new sponsors, a new (race winning) driver in one of their cars, a new car itself with new regulations, a new engine and of course new tyres. When asked about the changes coming up, Westwood responded:
"Yes it's essentially a big revamp. But I have every confidence in both Will and Tumo, as I feel both have proven themselves worthy, talented drivers. They're both super quick and consistent, and their feedback is excellent. As for the tyres, I can confirm to you now that we will be running Firestones for the coming season, as after speaking to representatives from both Michelin and Firestone, we felt the latter would be superior in performance. And finally, onto the engines.Yes, moving from V8s to V10s is a big step up but we've been developing this engine for a while now, and we feel confident in our power unit. Last season the engine had a lot of grunt and was pretty driveable, but we really let the guys down on reliability. However we've worked hard to iron out such flaws for the upcoming season. And on which note, I'd like to point out that Westwood are happy to supply any teams, should they wish to use our engines."
So Westwood certainly have an uphill struggle ahead of them, but whether they'll overcome this remains to be seen. Reportedly their car isn't close to finished yet, and they'll be revealing their car at the pre-season tests, so the pressure is on the minnows from the south coast of England.