The Williams Racing team is in ninth position in the constructors’ championship but has made a step forward this season. The team has not opened its account in the new season even though the team threatened to do that in the last race.
At the previous race in Imola, both the drivers made it into the second qualifying session. George Russell and Nicholas Latifi qualified in twelfth and fourteenth position respectively at that race. The race-ending crash for Russell denied the Grove-based team the first points of the season.
Dave Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance, was optimistic of the team’s chances at the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix even though he foresees a lot of work ahead of the team overnight. The second practice session saw the team struggling because of the windy conditions.
Robson said: “It has been a good day overall and it has been enjoyable being back here in Portugal. The track surface has changed a bit since we were here last autumn, and we have spent a good deal of today understanding how this has influenced the tyre behaviour; we have collected some good data across the compound and fuel ranges and we will use this to finalise our plans for tomorrow.
“In the calm conditions this morning, the car was performing well, especially for George. Nicholas was testing a few items and was generally less happy with his car this morning. With the tyres on the edge in the cool conditions of FP1, anything that prevented the drivers from pushing hard quickly led to a large loss of laptime, and this is what Nicholas suffered with.
“In FP2 the wind was stronger and gustier, and this harmed our performance a little. However, Nicholas was happier with his car following some changes during the break and although there is still a lot to do overnight to get him fully happy, we have a direction to work with.
As always, there is a lot to do overnight, but we’re pleased with our start to the weekend and we look forward to pushing hard again in qualifying tomorrow.”
The team will hope the good one-lap pace and qualification performances will convert into points for the Williams team sooner rather than later.