Dave Robson says the Williams Racing team have a lot of information to go through after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, a race where George Russell was a late retirement and Nicholas Latifi was classified sixteenth after a post-race time penalty.
Russell was heading to the grid for the restart when he suffered a gearbox issue that saw his afternoon at the Baku City Circuit end early, while Latifi was handed a thirty-second time penalty for continuing on track under behind the safety car when the field was meant to be following it through the pit lane.
“Today was a busy race and we have a lot to go through over the coming week,” said Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams. “Baku usually delivers a busy race and today was certainly one of those.
“In the end George was unable to take the race restart due to a suspected gearbox issue and an earlier communication error with Nicholas meant that he received a post-race time penalty.”
Robson says the team opted to try a different strategy option for Russell in order to find free air and put some pressure on those ahead of him, but the late race suspension and the ability for the other drivers to change tyre ended their chances of battling for a top ten finish.
With the Uralkali Haas F1 Team finishing thirteenth and fourteenth respectively, Williams fell to tenth and last in the Constructors’ Championship as a result of the outcome of the Azerbaijan race.
“We tried a different strategy with George to get him some free air and an opportunity to pressure the cars ahead,” said Robson. “Unfortunately, he couldn’t find enough pace on the Prime tyre to make much progress even though the car was working reasonably well.
“However, having stopped for new tyres at the first Safety Car, he was in a good position as those ahead began to struggle on their older tyres. Unfortunately, the second Safety Car and subsequent race suspension gave all cars a chance to fit fresh tyres for the final two lap sprint to the chequered flag.”