As expected, Williams Racing endured a tough Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, although Senior Race Engineer Dave Robson says it was an achievement to see both George Russell and Robert Kubica finish the race.
Williams has been on the back foot ever since they arrived late for pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in February, their first running coming midway through the third day of the first test as opposed to the first day, and at no point have they been close to the pace shown by the other teams on the grid this season so far.
Such was the deficit, Russell finished sixteenth, two laps down on race winner Valtteri Bottas, while team-mate Kubica’s return to Formula 1 saw him a further lap down in seventeenth, although his race was hindered early due to damage caused in a first corner tangle with Pierre Gasly that resulted in a first lap pit stop for a new front wing.
Robson felt the main positive to take away from Albert Park was to see both cars reach the chequered flag, but he knows there is a lot of work to do to improve the team to where they are in a position to be in the midfield fight.
“It was a tough day as you would expect but it was an achievement to bring two cars home,” said Robson. “Robert had an unfortunate first lap, but once we got him back out with a new front wing he was able to settle down and he drove a good race on his comeback.
“It was George’s Formula One debut and he has had a solid weekend all round and now has his first race under his belt. This should give both drivers some confidence moving forward.
“The pitstops the team carried out today were very good as always, and operationally the team did a good job with what we have at the moment.”