Formula 1

Williams’ Dave Robson: “A new circuit always a presents an exciting challenge”

1 Mins read
Credit: Williams Racing

Dave Robson says it will be a busy weekend for everyone within the Williams Racing team as they get to learn and understand the best way to set-up their FW44 for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

The Miami International Autodrome makes its debut on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar this weekend, and the Williams team will be looking to fight for a top ten finish, something they achieved with Alexander Albon the Australian Grand Prix but missed out of marginally in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last time out.

Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance at the Grove-based team, says although both Albon and team-mate Nicholas Latifi will learn the track quickly, the job behind the scenes to perfect the set-up will be more time consuming.

“A new circuit always a presents an exciting challenge to the drivers and engineers,” said Robson. “Although the drivers will learn the circuit very quickly, the behaviour of the tyres, the initial ageing of the asphalt and the local conditions will ensure that there is a lot for the engineers to optimise throughout the weekend.

“The Miami International Autodrome is a new circuit, which features several long straights, two fast corner sequences and one low-speed twisty section. This is all within a 5.4km anti-clockwise layout.

“There will be compromises to be made between the various sections of the track and so the team will have quite a task to find the best overall lap time.”

Robson says the decision by Pirelli to bring their three middle-of-the-range compounds to Miami looks like the right choice but getting the tyres to work in their right operating windows will be a tricky challenge.

“Pirelli have provided compounds from the middle of their range, which is the same as in Imola,” he said.  “These are expected to suit the circuit layout quite well, although the exact tyre behaviour will depend on the track temperature and the chosen setup. It is this interaction between setup and tyre behaviour that will provide the drivers and engineers the biggest challenge of the weekend.

“The weather looks likely to be hot and sunny with a small chance of thundery showers, and with the key sessions taking place in the mid to late afternoon, it could be quite punishing for the cars, tyres and drivers.”

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