Williams Racing had a fantastic qualifying, with both cars making it into Qualifying-2 for the first time since last years Hungarian Grand Prix and from the outside looking in it appears that there is a real positive atmosphere around the team that is based in Grove.
Dave Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance, feels that the team have had a very good day qualifying with the car behaving really well and responding well to those changes that were made overnight on Friday. Robson is very impressed with both drivers who extracted the most that they could out of the car
“We’ve had a good day today with the car behaving well and responding to the changes overnight. Both drivers did a great job of extracting the laptime under pressure.”
Nicholas Latifi had issues with oversteer on one of his laps in the final practice session which caused some minor damage to the car and although the mechanics were able to get that car back out again there were still some checks that needed to be made between Free Practice 3 and Qualifying. This took longer than was originally anticipated and an early red flag meant enabled the team to complete a full running programme.
“Nicholas had a small snap of oversteer on one of his laps this morning, which caused some minor damage to the car and although we were able to get him back out again during FP3, we needed to complete some more thorough checks between FP3 and Qualifying. This took a little longer than anticipated, but some excellent work from the full team of mechanics, as well as the red flag early in Q1 meant that he was able to complete a full run programme.”
The pace of the car was very good throughout qualifying and the upgrades that were brought to the car are showing some promising signs. We thought that the car would be better suited to Imola than Bahrain and it is nice to have these thoughts confirmed. Although it is pleasing to have both cars into the second Qualifying there is still a lot of work to do in the race if the team are to capatalise on their good car performance. Robson is hoping for some rain in the race which Williams can use to their advantage.
“The pace of the car was good, and the new parts that we tested yesterday are working well. Based on our experience last October, we thought that this track would be better suited to the car than Bahrain, however, it is nice to have seen this confirmed today. Although we are pleased to have got both cars into Q2, there is a lot of work to do to crystallise today’s performance into a meaningful result tomorrow. The weather for the race looks a little uncertain, but we hope that we can use any doubt over the conditions to our advantage.”
Robson has been really impressed with both drivers throughout the weekend, with Latifi being strong in the car right from the ‘get go’ and Russell taking a little longer to get to grips with the car and the track but both ended up putting in some really strong laps. This results in both being in a good position to race tomorrow.
“Both drivers have been excellent all weekend, with Nicholas being very strong from the beginning of FP1 and pushing hard on every lap. George took a little longer to understand his car yesterday, but really put in some strong laps today. Both are in a good position to race hard tomorrow.”