Formula 1

Russell Focusing on Improving Williams’ Race Pace in Spanish Heat

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Credit: Williams Racing

George Russell says the two races at the Silverstone Circuit has given the Williams Racing team some much needed information as it continues to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the FW43.

Heading into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Russell says it is important Williams put to good use the knowledge they’ve learned if they want to continue on their upward curve in 2020.

Russell, who will sit out the first session in Spain as Williams give Official Test Driver Roy Nissany a chance behind the wheel of the FW43, is excited for the weekend in what is expected to be another hot race.

“Off the back of two very different Grands Prix at Silverstone, one being cold with hard tyres and one being hot with soft tyres, I think that has given us some good learning,” said Russell.  “This week in Barcelona is going to be really tricky as we normally race there in May, now we are racing there in August.

“However, I am excited to get back driving again and hopefully put in another good Saturday, but this time focus on doing the same job on Sunday.”

Team-mate Nicholas Latifi is confident that Williams can go well at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and he is looking forward to putting together a strong weekend.

As the only rookie on the grid, the Canadian feels he has been progressively getting better race by race, and he is looking forward to making more gains this coming weekend in Spain.

“I am looking forward to the last race of the second triple-header as I feel that I have consistently been making gains race on race,” said Latifi.  “I am looking forward to trying to put everything together on the Saturday.

“I think Barcelona will be a nice track to solidify and see the performance of the car relative to our direct competitors. It is a track that is a benchmark for Formula One as it has a bit of everything, and I am confident we will go well there.”

“Returning for a race in August is a very different prospect” – Dave Robson

Dave Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams, says racing in Spain this weekend will be a completely different prospect due to being run in August, particularly as drivers are used to running in much cooler conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Pre-season testing took place at the track back in February when conditions were cold, while the Spanish Grand Prix has traditionally run in May in recent years.  However, the temperatures are set to soar this weekend due to being run in the height of summer.

“To complete the second triple-header of the season, we return to Barcelona and a circuit that all the teams know very well,” said Robson.  “We were here in February for winter testing but returning for a race in August is a very different prospect.

“Pirelli have brought their hardest tyre compounds – as we raced a fortnight ago at the first of the Silverstone races – and our first priority will be to understand them in the hot summer conditions.

“The back-to-back races place a heavy strain on all those who travel, but we are grateful for the opportunity to be in Barcelona competing in another round of the 2020 Formula One Championship. We are conscious of the coronavirus situation in the city and we wish the region a speedy return to normality.

“We look forward to returning and being able to enjoy the Spanish hospitality soon.”

Nicholas Latifi feels he has been getting better and better as the season has gone on – Credit: Wiliams Racing
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