Dave Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams Racing, admits the opening two races of the 2022 Formula 1 season have been frustrating for the team.
Neither Alexander Albon nor Nicholas Latifi saw the chequered flag in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with the former retiring late on with a puncture after contact with Lance Stroll, while the latter crashed out early on after hitting the wall at the final turn.
Williams remain pointless after the races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, one of only two teams not to break into the top ten so far in 2022, although Robson felt Albon could have been a contender for the points had he cleanly passed Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team driver Stroll.
“A very frustrating end to three weeks away from home for the team,” said Robson. “We completed a one-stop race with Alex using the preferred hard tyre for most of the race.
“Alex did well to manage his tyres during a long stint and through several safety car periods. There was a lot of attrition at this event, which we were expecting, and Alex was nearly able to benefit.
“He was able to race with Stroll and attack him on several occasions into Turn 1, but unfortunately in racing for eleventh, there was contact, resulting in a front right puncture for Alex and the end of his race.”
Latifi had a nightmare weekend at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, with a crash in Qualifying being followed by the lap sixteen crash in the race. Robson praised the mechanics for fixing the car overnight but rued the Canadian’s second crash of the weekend on Sunday.
“The mechanics did an excellent job to repair Nicholas’ car overnight, but unfortunately Nicholas had a difficult race and lost the car at the final corner shortly before he was due to make his first stop,” he said.
Williams will now regroup back at their Grove base before flying out to Australia for the third round of the season next weekend at the revised Albert Park track in Melbourne.