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Azerbaijan GP: Difficult Qualifying for ROKiT Williams

By Andrew Hooper
April 28 2019

After the dramas of Friday qualifying for the 2019 Azerbaijan GP would see the ROKiT Williams Team again see both George Russell and Robert Kubica finishing at the bottom of the times. But the team would also suffer a further set back with Robert crashing his car late in the first period of qualifying. Robert would make a simple mistake that would result in his car going into the barrier extensively damaghing the front suspension. Combine the two accidents with George and Robert as well as the continuing issues with the FW42 the teams situation just seems to be made even more difficult.

 ROKiT Williams Racing Azerbaijan GP Qualifying

Team Summary:
There would be a rush of drivers coming out for the opening eighteen minute period, including both Williams drivers. Everyone was on the soft tyre as the quickest times came fast. Bottas would set a1m:42.430 to be quickest from Leclerc and Raikkonen. Perez would move up to third ahead of Raikkonen. Vettel would go quickest with a 1m:42.348. But drivers were finding time as Leclerc set a 1m:41.426 to be quickest from Bottas. Hamilton would move up to third from Vettel, Giovinazzi, Albon, Gasly, Kvyat, Raikkonen and Magnussen tenth.

The Williams drivers would be 18th and 19th after their first run and would return quickly for a second. Gasly with a tow would go fastest with a 1m:41.335. Both Williams drivers were on better laps in their second runs. Both drivers would improve but would remain slowest. But right at the end of the session it would be red flagged as a result of Robert crashing his car heavily after making an error clipping the wall on the left and sending him into the barrier to the right. His car would suffer extensive damage to the front suspension. But Robert would not be by himself as Leclerc would also go into the barrier at the same location when the period went green. This would see another red flag as the track was cleared.

The final period of qualifying would see the Mercedes coming out in front with Bottas on pole from Hamilton. Vettel was third followed by Verstappen, Perez, Kvyat, Norris, Giovinazzi, Raikkonen and Leclerc despite not running was tenth. For Williams it will be another night of hard work by the mechanics now having to repair Robert's car. The pair would start Sunday's race from the rear of the grid so again it is going to be a difficult race.


Robert Kubica:
Robert would follow his teammate out fior his first run in qualifying. Robert's first quick lap was a 1m:46.921 to be ahead of his team-mate. After a four lap run Robert would pit. He would quickly return on a new set of soft tyres. Robert's second run would see a 1m:45.455 to be 0.393 behind George. But Robert would have a major crash on the run going up towards the castle. Robert would hit the inside wall on the left that would send the car across the track and into the barrier. Somewhat ambitious of Robert seeing him hit the wall. He would come on the radio to apologise to the team. It would do major damage to the front suspension of his car.

George Russell:
George would be the first driver out on the track in the opening period of qualifying. He was on the soft tyre for his first run. George would set a 1m:47.604. But he was able to improve with a 1m:45.566 to move ahead of Robert by a considerable margin. George would also pit after a five lap run. George was also back out on a new set of soft tyres. George would improve with a 1m:45.062 to remain ahead of Robert but by a smaller margin. George would say in interviews: "Massively on the back foot after yesterday ... as a team we are a long way off the pace ... few things coming for Barcelona.".




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