ROKiT Williams Racing had another season of unhappiness as they finished the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship in tenth place, with only one point all season.
George Russell, made his debut in the 2019 season, after winning the 2018 FIA Formula 2 championship, beating fellow F1 drivers in McLaren F1 Team‘s Lando Norris and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Alex Albon for the title. The team, also gave the chance to Robert Kubica, as he returned to Formula 1 for the first time since 2010. Meaning that Williams had a brand new line up for the 2019 season.
However, the season did not see an improvement from the 2018 FIA Formula 1 Championship. It saw a decline as the points total dropped from seven points to a single one point during this season. The FW42 was found not to be an improvement from its predecessor of the FW41. As Russell finished last in the championship, twentieth, and Kubica with the sole point in nineteenth in the championship.
High Point- Kubica Scores Points at the German Grand Prix
Williams found the high point of their season coming at the 2019 German Grand Prix. As both Alfa Romeo Racing drivers were handed thirty second penalties, Kubica was lifted up into the points during the chaotic race, which led to six drivers retiring in the race. Russell was bumped up into eleventh, which was the closet the Briton managed to get to a points finish in his rookie season.
Low Point – Double Retirement at the Russian Grand Prix
It can be hard to pinpoint Williams’ low point of the season, due to them finishing last in the championship; Additionally only making it once into the points, making it one of their worst years.
However, the 2019 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix saw both cars retire. Russell crashed out on lap twenty-nine as he went straight into the barrier at turn nine as a result of an issue with a wheel nut. This then led to the team retiring Kubica, leaving them with a double retirement.
The inter-team battle in qualifying was a clean sheet. Russell took the qualifying battle twenty-one to nil. Kubica failed to out-qualify his rookie teammate all season. Neither of the two drivers, all-season made it out of the first qualifying session, meaning both started between sixteenth and twentieth, but they also became the only team not to make it out of the first session all season.
Kubica seemingly struggled with qualifying all season as he qualified down in twentieth, thirteen times during the season which meant it became easier for Russell to out-qualify him. Additionally, Kubica did not qualify any higher than eighteenth all season.
Even though, Russell took the clean sweep, which was last achieved by Fernando Alonso against Stoffel Vandoorne in the 2018 season. It still was a struggle for Williams as they found themselves, repeatedly, in most race weekends and qualifying to be at the back of the grid.
Despite Kubica scoring points, Russell outshone his Polish teammate throughout the year in the races. Kubica managed to finish ahead in three races while Russell took the eighteen others.
Yet, Kubica found himself ahead in the championship standings because of his result in Germany, with Russell a place behind him and he missed out on the points. This was one of three places all season where Kubica managed to get the better of his rookie teammate. Overall, for the Pole, on his return, it was a difficult season.
Russell was the rookie who has not taken as much of the spotlight as his counterparts. His stand out result is hard to pinpoint, he tried his hardest at his home track in Silverstone, but could no manage to secure the elusive points finish.
Who To Look Out for in 2020?
Williams, they need a stronger season in 2020. They are changing their lineup, for the fourth time in four years. Kubica has left the team and will not race in F1 this year, possibly not again.
Nicholas Latifi, will join Formula 1 for the first time, after three years in Formula 2. This will be the interesting watch for 2020 because Latifi and Russell have battled before in F2, in 2018.
But, the last time Williams had such an inexperienced team, this was 2018 and it was Lance Stroll, now of SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team and Sergey Sirotkin. The lineup had a lot of criticism, however, Russell and Latifi have faced less, so far. For now it is just a question of whether they can help Williams progress to reach the midfield again.