As Williams Racing heads to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, the team will be hoping that new upgrades to the FW43 will allow the team to translate qualifying pace into race pace as the team looks to score their first points of the season.
George Russell has managed to have some real moments of brilliance this season, running just outside the points in the Austrian Grand Prix before retiring. On top of that, Russell had an eleventh place qualifying effort in the Styrian Grand Prix and a twelfth place starting position in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Unfortunately, neither of those races saw Russel competing for points by the end either, as he finished sixteenth and eighteenth respectively.
However, Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams Dave Robson believes that new parts coming in from the factory will allow the team to possibly be fighting at the fringe of the points.
“Racing at our home venue without the crowd will be strange, but we are still looking forward to racing hard and continuing to push the FW43 to its limits,” Robson said in a press release.
“The unique nature of Silverstone presents a very different set of challenges to the Red Bull Ring and the Hungaroring, and it will be a tremendous test of the car and the drivers.”
“We made good progress with the car during the opening three rounds of the season and were able to achieve some good qualifying performances at both venues. We are now in a good position to push the performance of the FW43 harder on race day as we look to score our first points of the season.
“Silverstone will be a difficult challenge, but with some new parts becoming available following testing in Austria and Hungary, we are looking to maintain our early season momentum and continuing to close the gap to the leading teams.”
This will also be a home race for Russell who, as mentioned before, has shown that he is able to bring the best out of the FW43 in qualifying but has had poor luck when it matters most.
Going into his home grand prix, where he finished fourteenth last season, Russell feels that Silverstone might provide a reality check to the team, but is going to give it his all regardless.
“I think our pace won’t be quite as strong as we saw in Budapest,” Russell admitted.
“In Hungary we well and truly exceeded expectations, and things were working really well for us in qualifying. I expect us to go back to our reality which is probably a more similar pace to what we saw in the first week of Austria.
“Nevertheless, myself and the team will be giving it all we have got.”
Nicholas Latifi remains a bit more optimistic than his teammate Russell, as the Canadian returns to one of his favorite tracks. Latifi finished second in the Formula 2 feature race at Silverstone last season and fifth in the sprint race, but he expects the track to be a lot of fun in a proper Formula 1 car.
“(Silverstone) has always been one of my favourite tracks to visit and especially in these Formula One cars it is the perfect combination of super-fast flowing track, high grippy corners and high-performance downforce cars,” Latifi said.
“It is going to be a lot of fun, and I’m really looking forward to getting to try it out. The break we have had from the last triple header to now has been good and given me time to analyse the first few races, where I did well and more importantly where I can improve.
“I’m looking forward to keeping the momentum going and seeing where we can improve altogether as a team.”