Williams endured tough day with double DNF

by Tom Cairns

Williams Racing were on the receiving end with both George Russell and Robert Kubica retiring from the Russian Grand Prix with brake issues.

This is the team’s first double non-finish since the 2018 German Grand Prix with Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin.

Russell was in a solid position in fourteenth ahead of his team-mate and both of the Alfa Romeo Racing cars before a heavy lock-up into Turn Eight saw him go straight into the barrier and prematurely ending his race for the second round running.

The rookie thought “it was a shame” to not finish the race, considering the pace he had on Sunday.

“It was a disappointing Russian Grand Prix,” Russell said. “The car was feeling good, and then all of sudden after the pitstop there was an issue and the next thing I knew, I was in the barrier.

“It was a shame for the race to end like that as we were showing some strong pace.”

Robert Kubica - ROKiT Williams Racing in the 2019 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix - Sochi Autodrom - Race
Credit: Williams Racing

Following the Brit’s abrupt exit from the Grand Prix, Williams took the decision to retire Kubica to allow the Grove-based squad time to assess before they make the flight to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix next week.

“This weekend has been very disappointing,” Kubica added. “You always have to try your best with what you have, and this is what I was trying to do.

“After George’s DNF, the team decided to stop my car, to take care of the parts that we have on the car. We are not in an easy situation and Japan is around the corner.”

Williams remain with only one point on the board in what has been a dismal season for them. Senior Race Engineer Dave Robson remains conscious on what the remaining flyaway races will bring.

“Today was tough and deeply frustrating for the whole team. We took the opportunity behind the early safety car to pit Robert twice aiming to complete his race using only Option tyres,” Robson shared.

“Meanwhile we were able to leave George out and run long until a Virtual Safety Car provided an opportunity for a cheap pitstop on to the Qualifying tyre. Unfortunately, an issue shortly after the subsequent restart caused George to lock a front wheel, damaging the car further.

“We opted to retire Robert soon afterwards in order to conserve parts ahead of the intense flyaway races which end the season. It’s a very disappointing way to end two weeks on the road.”

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