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ROKiT Williams treating races like a test session

By Andrew Hooper
June 7 2019

 ROKiT Williams treating races like a test session

Following on from a very difficult pre-season test the ROKiT Williams Team has had to endure the opening six races equally as difficult. The team has had to endure a barrage of criticism as they work towards improving the performance of the 2019 FW42. But the team is not in the position to throw endless amount of time and money into quickly resolving the issues. As such while the team works towards the rollout of upgrades during the season they have been forced to use the Grands Prix as extended test sessions.

The Williams team has not been in a position to bring any major upgrades to the car with the initial focus been gaining an understanding of the car before committing to the design and build of any upgrades. This has seen the team tinker at the edges making small changes as they need to make sure any upgrades work.

Commenting for Motorsport Week at the Canadian Grand Prix Russell talked about the path that the Williams Team has taken and how it is firstly important to gain an understanding of the FW42. He said: “I think we have understood the car well but we’re still continuing to understand I think.”

“For example this weekend realistically we’re still going to be qualifying on the back row. So this gives us the opportunity to test things, rather than fully optimise our package, and maybe explore a different route.

“Every other team that is fighting for points or a good result… every lap on track they have to make the most of it.

“You can take this situation as a positive let’s say, we’re making the most of being in the position we are.

“We know what we sort of have in store let’s say to bring to the car, but these things take time.

“For a front wing it takes 8-10 weeks, the same with a floor, so for us we’ve also got to be more patient than the other teams as we want to bring something greater than a little bit here and there because a little bit here and there is not going to bring much performance, but we’re still testing many things at the moment.

“And we’re getting good information back, and I do believe there will be a point where we can fight with everybody. But realistically we can’t expect anything more than that.”

Russell also spoke of how he viewed it as been pointless given the lack of performance that the Williams team has to recover that bringing small updates was a pointless exercise as he felt that a major upgrade was the better option.

Russell added: “Every team when they develop a car you’re developing, developing, developing in a wind tunnel, so do you bring an update here, here and here.

“Or do you wait until you bring it there [the top]? Every update you bring there’s financial implications, many factors that go into it.

“The top teams can get away with bringing upgrades every couple of races whereas it makes no sense for us to do it because if we bring a small upgrade here and there it’s not going to make any difference to our performance.

“We’re taking the approach that we’re treating every race like a test at the moment to fully understand how we can make a bigger impact later in the year.”


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