Williams F1
Austrian GP: Encouraging FP1 for ROKiT Williams Team
By Andrew Hooper
June 28 2019

The ROKiT Williasm team would again see their drivers finish slowest in the opening Friday practice for the 2019 Austrian GP. George Russell would finish ahead of team-mate Robert Kubica after several runs on the soft tyre. But the encouraginbg thing was that George would set a time that would see him just 0.3 behind the fifteenth placed car of Perez. Unfortunately Robert was not able to close the gap to George and would lose any opportunity on his last run as the session was red flagged.
 
 ROKiT Williams Austrian GP Friday 1st Practice
 
Russell
 

Team Summary:
The first time in the opening Friday practice would come from Sainz with a 1m:14.185 running on the soft tyre. Gasly would move ahead with a 1m:08.299 running on the medium tyre. A 1m:07.285 from Gasly with Vettel now second followed by Leclerc with both on the medium tyre. Leclerc would improve with a 1m:06.169 followed now by an improved Gasly, Vettel, Norris and Sainz. Vettel would move ahead of Leclerc with a 1m:06.160. Grosjean and Magnussen would move into fifth and sixth ahead of Sainz. Both Williams drivers were now running with just under an hour and ten minutes remaining. The track was now getting busy as both Williams drivers set timed laps but were down the order.

Verstappen was now quickest with a 1m:06.100 followed by Vettel and Leclerc. Bottas was now fourth followed by Hamilton, Ricciardo, Sainz, Gasly, Norris, and Perez tenth. Verstappen would improve with a 1m:05.938 while team-mate Gasly went second and Norris third. But Hamilton was now second but Bottas would move ahead as the track emptied after forty minutes of the session. Gasly was now fourth followed by Norris, Vettel, Leclerc, Ricciardo, Sainz and Hulkenberg tenth. At the front Verstappen had set an improved 1m:05.488 to be ahead by 0.421. With forty minutes remaining drivers would start to return.

Leclerc was out on the medium tyre and would go fastest with a 1m:05.409. But Bottas went ahead with a 1m:04.99 from Leclerc and Verstappen. But Hamilton would improve to be third. Both Mercedes were on the soft tyre. On the sift tyre Verstappen was able to move into third ahead of Hamilton. Both Williams drivers had come out for their second run both on the soft tyre. Hamilton would go fastest with a 1m:04.838 to be ahead of Bottas, Leclerc, Verstappen, Gasly, Sainz, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Norris and Grosjean. At the front Vettel would go second ahead of Bottas, Leclerc, Verstappen, Gasly and Sainz seventh.

Ten minutes remaining and the Williams drivers were slowest but the quicker of the pair was close behind the cars in front. George was just 0.3 behind fifteenth placed Perez. Quite a few drivers were having issues with damage to their front wings as a result of going over the sausage kerbs that had been placed at various places around the circuit. The session would be red flagged with debris on the track from a damaged front wing on the Renault of Hulkenberg. Both Williams drivers would be forced to pit as the session came to an end. The result in the session had seen George very close to the cars in front running on the soft tyre. The teams were allowed to send their cars back out to allow them to complete practice starts. Both Williams drivers would complete practice pit stops on their return.

Robert Kubica:
Robert would come out for his first run on the soft tyres. Robert would set a slow first lap but would follow it with a 1m:09.629 to be just behind his team-mate. Robert would set a 1m:08.729 to be slowest. Robert would improve with a 1m:08.606 and still slowest. But a further improvement with a 1m:08.140. Another improvement with a 1m:07.879 saw him slowest but right behind his team-mate by just 0.122. Robert had pitted after a twelve lap run. Robert would return again on the soft tyre. After a few laps completed Robert would find time setting a 1m:07.697 to be 0.390 behind his team-mate. Robert would set a 1m:07.665 as he pitted as well after an eleven lap run. He was now 0.860 behind his team-mate. Robert would follow his team-mate out for his third run. With the session being red flagged Robert would not improve his time.

George Russell:
George would be first out for Williams in the opening Friday practice session, completing his installation lap on the soft tyre. George would follow Robert out for his first timed run. He would set a 1m:09.249 to be 14th. George would improve with a 1m:07.757 to be 15th. He would pit after a ten lap run. He would return joining Robert back out with under half an hour remaining. He was also on the soft tyre. George would improve with a 1m:07.307 to extend the gap to Robert. Robert was able to improve closing the gap to George. But George would set a 1m:06.805 just prior to pitting after a ten lap run. George would be back out with under ten minutes remaining, again on the soft tyre. He would also see his track time come to an end with a red flag seeing his not improve but his time was very close to the cars just in front.

 
Kubica
 
Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m04.838s 34
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.144s 23
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.161s 37
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.303s 26
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 0.422s 30
6 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 0.540s 30
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 0.664s 34
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1.008s 27
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1.038s 27
10 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1.287s 27
11 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1.297s 20
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1.434s 29
13 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 1.447s 32
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1.545s 30
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1.619s 36
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1.870s 30
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1.891s 23
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1.918s 29
19 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1.967s 28
20 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 2.827s 28
 
Kubica