Despite the challenging weather conditions and a shaky start to the Mexico City Grand Prix, Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams Racing, Dave Robson is proud of what the team achieved on Sunday despite Nicholas Latifi struggling with car damage early on in the race.
After a disappointing qualifying session on Saturday, where the two Williams drivers ended up at the very back of the grid in the nineteenth and twentieth position, Robson was “very pleased” with what the team achieved and was glad the team managed to deliver on pace, which made the car competitive amongst their competitors.
“Following a frustrating day yesterday, we can be very pleased with how we performed today. Racing in Mexico City is always challenging but we were able to get the car into a pretty good place such that it was easily managed and had good pace relative to our competitors.”
Similar to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Williams were hoping the Hard tyre would unlock the car’s potential and allow Latifi to improve his race and deliver a competitive pace. However, it seemed that the white-walled tyres did exactly the opposite and significantly harmed Latifi’s race as his pace began to deteriorate.
“We pitted Nicholas early for the Hard tyre but unfortunately this was a poor tyre today and, coupled with some car damage, it harmed Nicky’s race. We were able to leave Alex out on his Medium tyre whilst we monitored the performance of the cars that started the race on Soft. Once it became clear that a Medium-Soft one-stop was possible we were able to commit to this with Alex.”
Whilst Latifi was trying to keep up with the rest of the grid, his team-mate, Alex Albon, kept the car under control in the humid conditions and drove “very well” in order to get aggressive with his driving and execute superb overtaking, sailing past Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team driver Sebastian Vettel, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN driver, Zhou Guanyu.
“Once again, he drove very well to battle aggressively with Gasly, Vettel, Zhou and Bottas. To finish so close to the Alfa Romeo which qualified 6th, especially after a tricky race start, was very satisfying but also hints at what might have been possible with a better grid position.
“It has been a hard couple of weeks racing in the USA and Mexico, but we can be pleased with what we achieved and how we coped with the conditions.”