Williams Racing have brought their first major upgrade package of the season to the 2019 German Grand Prix but it wasn’t enough to elevate them from the bottom of the timesheets during Friday’s free practice sessions.
The upgrades Williams have brought to the FW42 only appeared on Robert Kubica‘s car on Friday, the Pole setting Williams’ fastest lap in the first session, a time of 1:16.559, good enough for nineteenth.
Kubica believes it’s too early to judge the new package as he was influenced by “some issues” and with rain expected for the rest of the weekend it’s going to make it difficult to assess whether the new upgrades have helped Williams close the gap to the rest of the field.
“Today wasn’t a straightforward day, we brought some new items to the car but were compromised in FP1,” said Kubica. “Although we have a new package, we were influenced too much by some issues which we can hopefully fix and tomorrow will be a better day.
“The forecast is for rain tomorrow which might spice things up and shuffle the pack. It will be my first time racing in wet conditions for a long time but let’s wait and see what the weather brings.”
Kubica’s team-mate George Russell ran without the full upgrade package on Friday and set his best lap time of 1:16.900 in free practice two, the nineteenth fastest time of the session.
“Today was very hot!” said Russell. “It was quite unrepresentative for the weekend, which I think was the same for everyone up and down the grid.
“We’ve learnt some things and got a lot of evaluating to do of the parts we tested today, some of which were only on Robert’s car and may also be on my car tomorrow.
“We’re definitely looking forward to putting a bit more performance on the car but today it’s really difficult to know what the improvements were, as it was difficult to get a clear back to back comparison. The first signs seem relatively as expected.”
Dave Robson, Williams’ senior race engineer, says the team gathered “a lot of data” from the day’s running and must now decide if the upgrade package on Kubica’s car has had the desired affect.
“Today was a very difficult day,” said Robson. “Working in the extreme heat is difficult for everyone but it also adds to the confusion over the car behaviour.
“Conditions are very likely to be
completely different tomorrow, and on Sunday, and so today was mainly about gathering
data, doing our homework, and managing the car in the difficult conditions.
“We brought some new parts to test at this event and we were able to complete this testing between the two cars. We now have a lot of data to go through tonight to decide on the best specification to take in to the rest of the weekend.”