ROKit Williams Racing have admitted that they suffered an “incredibly tricky” FIA Formula 1 World Championship weekend at Suzuka as brake and fuel management hampered their race.
The race itself saw the Grove-outfit stack up the tail-end of the running order in 18th and 19th respectively following Max Verstappen’s early retirement.
While the FW42 has been off the pace this season, George Russell, attributed some of the struggle this weekend to brake and fuel management that left the weekend heavily compromised.
Russell said: “It was an incredibly tricky race for us. We had some brake issues throughout which made it quite difficult. It was definitely one of the tougher races of the season. I have mixed feelings, but I can be satisfied, waking up this morning I felt fresh and I did the job.”
However, Senior Race Engineer Dave Robson took some solace out of the way that the struggling squad dealt with the race itself, as they managed to complete both one and two-stop races for their respective drivers.
Robson said: “It was a difficult race, which pushed a large proportion of the field onto a two-stop strategy.
“We were able to complete a one-stop race with George but elected to complete a second stop with Robert as this offered him better track position and a quicker overall race time.
“Both drivers did a very good job to bring the cars home whilst managing the fuel and brakes,” he continued.
Robert Kubica suffered even greater woe in Sunday’s rearranged Qualifying session as he crashed at the final corner, leaving him to start at the back of the grid.
The Pole considered the crash “a high price for a small off” but did praise the mechanics for their quick turnaround to get his car ready for the race.
Kubica stated, “It was not the qualifying session that I had hoped for in Suzuka.
“I really appreciate their work, not only today but throughout the season. This is not an easy sport, especially in these conditions.
“The guys have done another amazing job (to get the car ready), they are a really great group of people.
The former Grand Prix winner also admitted that on the whole it was a tough weekend at Suzuka as his Formula 1 career seemingly comes to a close.
“The race was difficult as you would expect and overall, it was a pretty disappointing Sunday,” said the Pole.
Finally, the Grove squad aim to look ahead towards Mexico, where downforce has notoriously been king in receny years due to the high altitude and will therefore make a good test-bed for their new front wing as they aim to rekindle their form into for the 2020 season.
“We will soon travel to Mexico where the altitude and weather will give us a new set of hurdles to overcome. We will continue our investigation of our new front wing and will look to make a further step towards the midfield battle,” said Robson.