Williams is in the midst of one of its worst-ever seasons, sitting 10th and last in the constructors’ standings heading into the summer break with just four points scored in 2018 so far.
Lance Stroll’s eighth place finish in Azerbaijan has been its only appearance in the points of the year, while Stroll and teammate Sergey Sirotkin have dropped out of Q1 together in six of the 12 races so far.
Coulthard, who drove for Williams in 1994-95 and scored his first grand prix victory with the team, expressed concern that the Grove outfit has become resigned to its position at the rear of the field.
“Williams I’m a little bit concerned for,” the Scotsman, now a pundit for Channel 4’s F1 coverage, told Motorsport.com. “I just don’t see the pain of failure that maybe we saw in the past.
“You can fool people about how you’re feeling, but you can’t fake passion. I’d love to see that passion come back to Williams.
“The paddock has a great deal of affection for Williams and what they’ve achieved, but of course things move on and that will dwindle over time. I hope they can turn it around.”
McLaren struggles “confusing”
McLaren, where Coulthard raced from 1996-2004 and scored the remaining 12 of his 13 F1 wins, is another team enduring a below-par season in 2018.
The team’s failure to take a major step forward in its first season of using Renault power units resulted in Eric Boullier standing down as race director last month, with former CART champion Gil de Ferran joining in the new role of sporting director reporting to CEO Zak Brown.
Coulthard expressed sympathy to Boullier’s plight, but said he thinks the Woking squad will be able to get back on track in due course.
He said: “It is confusing that they are going through such a difficult time, but it always comes down to people: the people with the power to design and build the car, have either not had the resources at their disposal, or they’ve misused those resources, and therefore they are accountable.
“Ron Dennis [former McLaren boss] used to say to me, ‘I don’t design the car, I don’t build the car and I don’t drive the car, so all of those elements are not my responsibility’, which is a fair comment.
“His responsibility was the vision for the company, getting sponsors on board, giving the engineers the resources they need to come up with a good car.
“I think Zak and Gil, someone with a great racing mind, they will turn it around. But it will take time.”
David Coulthard, McLaren
Photo by: LAT Images