Williams Racing “simply struggled for pace” in the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas at the weekend.
British rookie driver George Russell started eighteenth on the grid, with his Polish team-mate Robert Kubica just behind in nineteenth. Both drivers started on the medium Pirelli tyre.
The team had an overall poor result in the race, Russell finishing seventeenth while Kubica suffered a non-finish due to a hydraulic leak.
Russell said that his lack of race pace was partly due to him not being able to get his tyres in the correct operating window. After pitting to change on to the soft tyre, he was held up by blue flags until the end of the race.
“This race was trickier than normal. I struggled with the tyres overheating before they dropped off, making the car difficult to drive.
“We decided to make a second stop and struggled with blue flags for the remainder of the race. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on his sixth Drivers’ World Championship,” said the Briton.
Kubica said he struggled with the bumpy track surface, which was made worse with the high fuel load he was running.
“The pace was not there today, so we tried an alternative strategy by pitting early in the race. I struggled with the grip and the bumps were quite difficult with more fuel in the car.”
Despite his retirement, he remains optimistic ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlargos in two weeks time.
“We had a hydraulic leak, so we had to retire the car. I am looking forward to Brazil, it’s a nice track and hopefully we will have a better result,” said the Pole.
Senior race engineer Dave Robson said the team’s result was not help by the circumstances they found themselves in, which included a lack of pace, and being caught out by strong gusts of wind.
“Today we simply struggled for pace, not helped by the gusty conditions which made the car difficult to drive, and which were punishing for the tyres. We had hoped to one stop the race, but the high tyre degradation made that almost impossible,” said Robson.
He added: “Both drivers raced hard and fairly at the beginning of the race with George eventually getting the better of Robert with the help of DRS. Unfortunately, we had to retire Robert’s car with a hydraulic issue shortly after half distance.”
“This was very disappointing, and we will need to look at the problem and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. George drove well in the difficult circumstances, but we couldn’t give him the car today to allow him to race.”