Williams Racing enjoyed their best race of the season last time out in Australia, after Alex Albon claimed a brilliant tenth-place finish at the Albert Park Circuit. This weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix presents the team with a new challenge though, as the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit will play host to the first Sprint race of the season.
Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, Dave Robson, is looking forward to the weekend and is interested to see how the Sprint weekend will go at the historic venue
“We have enjoyed our recent trips to this great circuit for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and we are looking forward to another good weekend this year, especially off the back of an encouraging result in Melbourne. The unusual two-day format here in 2020 gives us some understanding of how the Sprint event will work this weekend; getting the setup right in a single free practice session before going straight into Qualifying is not easy, but it is a great challenge and opportunity.“
Imola is one of the most historic and challenging circuit’s on the calendar, with no-tarmaced run-off areas. When describing the venue, Robson called it a “Daunting and thrilling race circuit”.
“The circuit retains many of the elements that previously made it such a daunting and thrilling race circuit, including the overall fast-flowing nature and unusual anti-clockwise direction. The famous corners at Piratella, Acque Minerali and Rivazza are all as demanding as they ever were and the run from the second part of Rivazza to the chicane at Tamburello is now flat-out as it passes the new pit complex. There have been some minor changes to the DRS zone for 2022, which may affect the racing.“
This weekend will see the same tyre allocation as used at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which was the second of the season’s flyaway races. Robson is glad that with the championship entering the European-leg, the team have been able to spend some time on the cars back at the factory.
“The tyre compounds are the same as Saudi Arabia and are a good compromise for this circuit, especially given the Sprint session on Saturday.
“Following the intensity of the opening ‘flyaway’ races of the season, it has been good to get the cars back to the factory and refreshed ready for the next series of events. We’re all looking forward to a European race and the challenge of the sprint qualifying format.“