Dave Robson felt Williams Racing played the strategy game well during Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, but circumstances went against them that prevented them being in the fight for points.
The team left Alexander Albon on the full-wet tyre until the track was dry enough for slicks, meaning they eliminated the need to use the intermediate tyre, and this propelled him up a number of places as others around him were forced into second stops.
However, a puncture soon after relegated him to the back of the field, and ultimately his afternoon was over after his FW44 started to unexpectedly bounce down the straight, with the team calling him into the pits on safety grounds.
“It was a long race today with the delayed start and then a red flag interruption,” said Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams. “With Alex we opted to play the long game on the Full Wet tyres and run it until the track was ready for slicks.
“We timed the transition pretty well and he found some good pace on Prime until he went straight on at T1 and then punctured the tyre. His pace on the Option after the red flag was again strong, but as he was now out of position, he couldn’t make any places.
“We retired the car when Alex reported some unexpected bouncing on the straights.”
Team-mate Nicholas Latifi hit the wall at the Grand Hotel Hairpin early in the race and pitted thereafter for intermediate tyres, but the Canadian was never a factor in the race and ended down in fifteenth place at the chequered flag.
“Nicholas damaged his front wing early in the race, which forced an early switch to Intermediates and set his race back,” he said.
“Although he made some progress later in the race and battled well with Zhou [Guanyu] and [Yuki] Tsunoda, P15 was the best that we could achieve today.”
Robson felt that the team learned a lot about its FW44 in Monaco, and he hopes this learning can help them when they hit the streets of Baku for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in two weeks time.
“It was a tough race, but we learnt quite a lot about the FW44 this weekend, some of which will be relevant to the next race in Baku,” Robson stated.