Predictability has plagued Formula One for the past few seasons now, but it’s not just those at the front of the grid that has applied to. Williams Racing have been bringing up the rear of the field for almost two years, and whilst improvements have been made since 2019, the team is still yet to score a point thus far.
After another stellar appearance in the second part of Qualifying for George Russell, Williams seemed relatively pleased with their pace and performance. However, it seems as though the FW43 faltered significantly in Sunday’s Race– both cars lost places and quickly fell to the back of the grid once again after having to make third stops due to intense vibrations.
Robson: “Tyre blistering disturbed the drivers quite a lot”
Dave Robson – Head of Vehicle Performance – believes that both Nicholas Latifi and Russell fell victim to the harsh tyre forces at the punishing Silverstone Circuit, citing that ‘rear blistering’ hampered them immensely in the race. He says it subsequently impaired driver visibility and they had no choice but to stop both cars again.
“We opted to make a third stop with both cars, and this was costly in our race with the cars around us. We need to go through the data and review the state of the tyres after each stint to see if the third stop was necessary and how we will manage the tyres in a similar situation in the future.”
Robson was, however, happy to experience the thrill of an unusual Silverstone double-header. Yet, he wishes that fans could be back to share the action and drama once more. He hopes that next weekend out in Spain will gift them stronger fortunes and possibly help them unlock the car’s hidden pace.
“It has been an interesting experience to have back-to-back races at such an awesome circuit and to get the opportunity to do so with different tyre combinations. However, without the fans here the atmosphere is just not the same and we look forward to coming back next year with a full crowd.”
“We fly to Spain in a few days and we must learn quickly from today and regroup ready to better exploit the car pace in Barcelona.”
“It just wasn’t our day” – George Russell
After star performances in Qualifying, George Russell is confident that Williams have good Saturday pace, but he believes races like this one show just how much that pace falls off on a Sunday.
“It was a very difficult race. We made a really poor getaway and lost a couple of positions. It was difficult for everybody, but that’s how it is in these tricky races sometimes. We have a lot to understand and review, it just wasn’t our day.“
Ever-optimistic, Russell hopes to bounce back from the second round at Silverstone and propel the team into a good rhythm in Barcelona to improve the staggered race-pace of the car.
“It has been a good two weeks. Our qualifying pace is strong, so we just need to keep working on our Sunday pace.”
Latifi ‘had to adapt on the fly’ in tricky 52-lap race
Finishing last of the running cars, Nicholas Latifi seemed surprisingly positive about his performance at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
The young Canadian accepted the position as a mistake within tyre strategies but went on to say that ‘the car was feeling great, even better than last weekend’ and that this weekend gave him ‘the most confidence’ he has had behind the wheel in a race so far.
“I think the finishing position is not where we deserve to be, we came into some tyre issues with our rear left, which forced us into a third stop. I think we were just unlucky with the track position and being stuck behind some cars. I’m a bit disappointed, but the positive is that the pace is there.“