An excellent analysis setting the decline of Williams into a historical context. Dieter Rencken traces the decline back to 1998, the commencement of the first Concorde Agreement following Bernie Ecclestone’s acquisition of Formula 1’s commercial rights. This is when Bernie Ecclestone began acting in his own interests, and not that of the teams.
That certainly explains why the number of independent teams has decreased since then. The remaining teams, as Dieter Rencken notes, have changed their business models to adapt to the modern commercial realities of the sport.
Williams’s dogged determination to stick to the same business model it had in the 1980s and 1990s may be seen as noble by some. But increasingly it’s being shown to be foolhardy.
Claire Williams may refuse to allow Williams to be a B-team. But let’s not forget that Frank Williams first entered F1 with a customer chassis. Why should they continue to tie their own hands?
See also: Williams have hit a new Lowe