confession time, i'm not a huge Williams fan, lots of little reasons including how they fought against customer teams a few years back whilst ignoring that's exactly how frank started in F1.
having made my personal feelings clear i'd just like to say that i'm now really worried for them, they're looking more and more like Lotus did ( proper lotus not caterham or renault ) a team that looses it's championship winning mojo, and after a few seasons of almost being able to compete for a championship slip further and further away before eventually just running out of time / money.
i agree about how mclaren's troubles have taken the heat off them, especially given how they have performed compared to force india over the last few seasons,but in itself that is a reflection of people's expectations for williams these days. the one good thing about williams is the way they have behaved in public about their struggles with no blame culture and finger pointing.
i also agree that claire is probably too close to see / cure the problems and possibly lets emotions and sentiment colour her judgement, paddy i'm not too sure, i suspect at merc his unofficial role was the glue that kept things together along with being someone who can absorb everyone's information and viewpoints and then filter and sort it before producing a decision. it may well be that just as a driver may need a good car to shine, so paddy needs quality of information to shine, something which i suspect is just not available at williams at the moment, i don't feel he's viable as a replacement for claire as i don't think that leading and long term planning is his strength, that's not to say i feel claire should keep her job, maybe she needs to step back and become more of a figurehead, a role that would fit her PR skills, and williams find a true leader for the actual running of the team.
the next 18 months could well define williams for ever, we're beginning to get the run up to new regulations and if they have not got themselves back into a place where they can develop before the new regs design period starts, i fear they could loose any chance of ever catching up, which would be a bad thing for F1 in general.