Williams Martini Racing is “moving in the right direction” according to Sergey Sirotkin after the Russian qualified in twelfth place for Formula 1’s German Grand Prix.
Williams has endured a difficult start to the 2018 season, and has only scored four points this year through Lance Stroll in Azerbaijan, while Sirotkin is the only driver yet to score a point.
Recent changes in the technical staff at Grove and thorough investigations has led Williams to believe it has finally understood the aerodynamic stall at the rear of the FW41 that has plagued the team’s season.
During Friday practice, Williams extensively tested a new front wing, and Sirotkin believes the positive data gathered and qualifying result shows the team is on the right tracks.
“We ran a big programme yesterday where we went through many things,” he explained. “I don’t want to be too optimistic but we have found some interesting things.
“It’s a very important step for all the team as we have been waiting for this for a long time and it’s good to show we are moving in the right direction. I am very proud of myself and for the all of the team for the hard work and development.”
While Sirotkin was able to secure 12th on the grid – which was “a good result” – with a lap of 1m:13.702s, team-mate Stroll struggled for pace and was eliminated in the first segment of qualifying with a time 0.498 seconds slower than the 1:13.708 Sirotkin set to advance.
The Canadian was 19th quickest in the session, but will start in 18th on the grid, alongside Stoffel Vandoorne after Daniel Ricciardo‘s grid penalty for exceeding the allotted number of power unit elements is applied.
As Sirotkin did not advance into the final segment of qualifying, he is free to start on whatever compound of Pirelli tyre he wishes.