Williams Racing’s Dave Robson outlines the team had a very successful first practice session of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship season but states the car is still underperforming.
The British racing team, who are under new ownership for the 2021 season after the Williams’ family stepped down in Monza last year, failed to score a single point throughout the 2020 season – a first in their history – and will have ambitions of outdoing that by scoring their first points of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend.
But based on both their driver performances in the Friday practice session, it might take some hardwork by the FW43B. George Russell was the quickest compared to his team-mate after he finished seventeenth fastest in both morning and afternoon, with Nicholas Latifi just a few places lower in eighteenth and nineteenth.
Although Robson, Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, stated that he believed FW43B was still under-performing to how they liked, he is still confident that both drivers’ can have a good weekend.
“It was hot this afternoon, meaning that the tyre performance dominated the FP1 running. Both George and Nicholas completed their programmes and had no issues with the car,” Robson said.
“The cooler evening session offered more suitable conditions for qualifying and race preparation and we were able to complete useful running on both cars despite the shorter Free Practice session format this year.
“We have had a very successful day, have collected all the data we wanted and had a first proper look at a qualifying and race simulation using the race tyres for this weekend. The performance of the car is still below what we would like, but we are making progress and we are confident that we can push the car hard for the remainder of this weekend, especially on Sunday.”
“George enjoyed a calm and well-constructed day during which he built-up his confidence in the car, finishing with a well measured stint on the qualifying C4 tyre.
“Nicholas made a few changes to his car ahead of FP2, but the change of wind for the evening session dominated the balance and he found it a little difficult to recover his momentum from FP1. He will reset overnight and then use FP3 to get himself ready for the key qualifying session.”