It was another tough day for Williams Racing during the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Briton George Russell and Pole Robert Kubica ending fifteenth and sixteenth respectively.
The much-maligned FW42 is not a part of the midfield battle at this point of the season, and both drivers were fighting for team supremacy during the race at the Sakhir International Circuit, with the 2018 FIA Formula 2 champion coming out on top at the chequered flag.
Russell, who started on the soft Pirelli tyres and made two pit stops for fresh medium tyres on laps twelve and twenty-six, knew that the team were always going to struggle again for pace in Bahrain as they did in the opening round of the season in Australia, but he was pleased to be able to learn more about the FW42, even though the ultimate result of fifteenth was not ideal.
“We know where we are at the moment, but it was a fun race for me,” said Russell, who was happy to be able to battle with team-mate Kubica on track. “I had some nice little battles with Robert so I’m thankful to the team for letting us race as it was enjoyable.
“It was quite a good race from a personal perspective but obviously not too enjoyable finishing in P15. We know where we are fighting for, but we brought the car home and learned some more things.”
Team-mate Kubica was a twice-lapped sixteenth and ran a different two stop strategy to that of Russell, starting on the Medium tyre before switching to the soft on lap eleven and the mediums on lap twenty-seven. The Pole admitted to having balance issues with his FW42 throughout, and apart from a few laps when his tyres were newer, it was a case of conservation to ensure the car reached the chequered flag.
“It was a very tough race, but we expected that,” said Kubica. “The car balance issues that I am having put me in a difficult position today.
Additionally, the wind didn’t help so it made it more complicated, but I had a few enjoyable laps when the tyres were fresh. However, I knew what was coming so I had to take care of the rubber and ensure that I kept the FW42 on track rather than concentrating on performance.”