Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer at Williams Racing, said the straight-line speed deficiencies the team have prevented them from defending positions during the Italian Grand Prix, with George Russell and Robert Kubica ending fourteenth and seventeenth at the chequered flag.
Russell was running thirteenth until the final lap, when he was passed by the recovering Sebastian Vettel, but he was able to finish ahead of both Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean, with Robson praising the Briton for his performance at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
Team-mate Kubica enjoyed a strong first lap but soon fell back due to the pace of his FW42, and an unscheduled second pit stop meant he was destined to finish at the back of the pack.
“This was another action-packed race, during which our drivers battled with several cars,” said Robson. “Robert enjoyed a good opening lap and got up to P13 before falling back as the race progressed.
“He eventually completed a two-stop race having flat-spotted a tyre whilst defending from Grosjean. George completed a more conventional one-stop race and almost managed to beat Vettel but unfortunately was overtaken on the final lap.
“Our straight-line speed made defending difficult, but George did a good job to hold on to P14, showing good pace relative to the cars around him.”
Robson says the teams’ attention now switches to the final seven races of the season that begin with the Singapore Grand Prix as they bid to bring themselves into genuine contention for points finishes.
“Our attention now turns to the final set of flyaway races, which begins in Singapore in a couple of weeks,” said Robson. “The races then come in quick succession as we make our way across the World.”