Having announced their takeover by investment firm Dorilton Capital just one week ago, Williams Racing were eager to continue their forward momentum from previous grands prix this weekend, and even though the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit isn’t exactly complementary of their FW43, the team are happy with the progress that has been made.
On Friday, both cars completed a decent amount of running and managed to avoid accidents or mechanical failures- unlike last year when Robert Kubica’s engine erupted into plumes of smoke.
Dave Robson– Chief of Vehicle Performance- was relatively pleased with how Williams’ first Belgian Grand Prix sessions went, citing how he thought the ‘mixed’ conditions on Saturday and Sunday would keep things exciting for teams.
“Both drivers had solid days as we looked at some downforce configurations and general set-up. We had no issues with the cars, and we are now in a good position to push things along tomorrow. Although today was dry for the F1 sessions, the forecast for tomorrow and Sunday remains mixed and we will need to be alive to any rain during qualifying and the race.”
“The cars are running well, and the drivers are enjoying each lap of this great circuit. We need to find a bit more pace if we are to compete with Haas and Alfa Romeo tomorrow, but we have a good baseline on which to build that performance.” Robson concluded.
George Russell ‘would like to see some rain to mix things up’ in Qualifying and the race
Whilst he admits it will be ‘tricky’ for Williams on Saturday, George Russell seems excited about the prospect of precipitation in the upcoming sessions, and the Brit is hopeful that they have a chance at a ‘good finish’ if such weather comes to fruition.
“It is always great to drive around Spa. We tried some different set-ups to try and get a bit more straight-line speed. Some were more beneficial than others, but I think we have a good understanding to gather the data and make the most of it tomorrow.“
Characteristically determined, he continued: “It is going to be a tricky Saturday, [Qualifying 2] is still the target and beating the Haas and the Alfa. We would like to see some rain to mix things up which would give us a chance to get a good result if we can maximise it. Nevertheless, we have got to make the most of whatever the conditions throw at us, and I will be ready to do that.“
“Even if it’s dry we will be able to make some gains tomorrow”- Latifi
In a refreshingly honest statement, Canadian Nicholas Latifi presented his thoughts and expectations for Qualifying in Spa by disclosing: “It was an average day and there are some things we have to work on, we definitely seem to be struggling a bit more to the Alfa”
Latifi shares the same thoughts as his team-mate, it seems, as he is also yearning for some changeable conditions, citing:
“There are some things to work on but it wasn’t a bad day overall. It would be nice to have some mixed conditions in either qualifying or the race to create a bit of a challenge. I see that as a positive for us and something that we will try to capitalise on. However, even if its dry we will be able to make some gains tomorrow.”