Battling with drivers out of position due to first lap incidents was as good as it got for Williams Racing in the Chinese Grand Prix, although both George Russell and Robert Kubica were able to once again bring their FW42’s home to the chequered flag.
Russell finished sixteenth and Kubica seventeenth as Williams continued to bring up the rear of the field, although they did not fill the back row of the grid this time around due to the failure of both Antonio Giovinazzi and Alexander Albon to set times during Qualifying.
Dave Robson, the Senior Race Engineer at Williams, was pleased to see both cars finish cleanly, and although they had to give up on running a one-stop strategy with Russell due to a loss of tyre temperature, it ultimately enabled the reigning FIA Formula 2 champion to finish once more ahead of his team-mate.
“We had an enjoyable race today and were able to race a couple of cars who had found themselves a little out of position following their first lap incidents,” said Robson. “We had clean, well-driven races from both drivers and were able to execute a sensible one-stop strategy with Robert.
“We tried a similar strategy with George, but the length of the stint and the loss of some tyre temperature meant that ultimately, we opted to pit George for a second time and allow him to finish the race on a new qualifying tyre.”
Robson felt Williams did show some improvements across the weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit that enabled them to close the gap on the rest of the midfield battle ahead of them, but he acknowledges there is still a lot of work to do to become a competitive entity again.
“We have made some improvements to the car this weekend and have started to close the gap,” said Robson. “We also tested some new components which may help us close the gap further in the coming races.
“The next race on the streets of Baku will pose a new set of challenges, but we are ready to meet those as we continue to learn about the FW42.”