Williams F1
Japanese GP: Another difficult race for ROKiT Williams
By Andrew Hooper
October 13 2019

The results of the 2019 Japanese GP would see the ROKiT Williams drivers finish well down the order in 18th and 19th with George Russell leading hom team-mate Robert Kubica. Both drivers would be lapped in what George would descibe as one of his worst races. The team would be able to repair Robert's car after his qualifying accident and he would start from the pit lane. Both drivers would complete the race without incident but simply lacked pace producing the total expected result.
 
 ROKiT Williams Japanese Grand Prix Race Review
 
Russell
 

Qualifying for the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix had been a difficult session for the ROKiT Williams Team with George Russell finishing in 18th but for team-mate Robert Kubica his session would see him crash heavily see the team forced into a very rapid rebuild of his car as it required a chassis change. This would see Robert be forced to start from the pit lane. On pole was Vettel followed by Leclerc, Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Albon, Sainz, Norris, Gasly and Grosjean in tenth. All would start the race on soft tyres. Outside the top ten the Williams drivers were on the medium tyre while they would be joined by Giovinazzi, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, and Magnussen. All the rest would be on the soft tyre. The grid would complete their parade lap and would line up. Robert would be starting from the pit lane.

The lights would go out and it would be Bottas taking the lead but Verstappen would make contact with Leclerc spinning. Leclerc would suffer front wing damage while for Williams the pair were 19th and 20th with George leading Robert. Vettel was second followed by Leclerc, Hamilton, Sainz and Norris. Verstappen would be down in 18th while the incident between the Red Bull and the Ferrari would not be investigated but this would later be reversed saying it was now under investigation. Leclerc would pit on lap five changing to the medium and getting a new front nose. Leclerc would come out last behind the Williams pair. Lap seven and Albon would make contact with Norris in the final chicane. He would switch to the medium tyre but was now last. The incident would be under investigation.

 
Kubica
 

At the front on lap eight Bottas was leading by 2.4s over Vettel, Hamilton, Sainz, Albon, Gasly, Stroll, Hulkenberg, Perez and Ricciardo tenth. Comments were been made in regard to Vettel possibly having jumped the start as he was seen to move then stop. Leclerc was now up to 16th while Vettel was now under investigation for a false start. The Williams drivers were back again in 19th and 20th with George leading Robert by 10.0s. there would be no further action against Vettel for his false start. Leclerc was now up to 14th as he worked his way forward. Verstappen would retire in his garage on lap seventeen. Albon would pit on the same lap changing to the medium tyre and returning in 11th. Raikkonen would also pit taking on the hard tyre returning in 18th. This would see the Williams drivers 17th and 19th.

Vettel would pit on lap eighteen taking on a new set of soft tyres, meaning he would be doing a two stop strategy. Bottas would pit on lap nineteen taking on the medium tyre. He would return in second behind Hamilton. Vettel was now third followed by Sainz, Gasly, and Stroll in sixth. Magnussen had also pitted taking on the hard coming back out in 18th. He had been joined by team-mate Grosjean who was also on the hard tyre. Giovinazzi was in and taking on the hard tyre dropping to 16th. Gasly had pitted dropping to 12t, running on the medium tyre. George was now in 14th and Robert 18th but neither had yet to pit. Hulkenberg and Perez would pit on lap twenty one taking on the medium tyre returning in 12th and 13th. The Williams drivers were now 14tyh and 19th with Robert been passed by Magnussen.

 
Kubica
 

Hamilton would pit on lap twenty three taking on the medium tyre returning in third ahead of Sainz, Albon, Ricciardo, Leclerc, and Kvyat eighth. No further investigation would be taken over the Norris and Albon incident. Bottas was now leading Vettel by 11.6s with Hamilton 9.3s behind the Ferrari. George would be passed by several cars all on newer tyres seeing him drop to 18th. Robert would pit on lap twenty six taking on the hard tyre for his only stop. But he was now down by a lap and 52s behind his team-mate. Leclerc and Norris would pit with Leclerc taking on the soft tyre. Norris would take the hard tyre and was abck out in 17th. George had also pitted taking the hard and returning in 18th. Sainz would pit on lap twenty eight returning on the medium tyre and returning in sixth.

Hulkenberg and Perez would get past Kvyat to be ninth and tenth. The top ten was now Bottas, Vettel, Hamilton, Albon, Ricciardo, Sainz, Gasly, Stroll, Hulkenberg, and Perez tenth, but Ricciardo had yet to pit. Kvyat would pit on lap thirty taking on the medium tyre for his run to the flag. Ricciardo would finally pit on lap thirty two taking on the soft tyre and returning in 11th. Leclerc was now running in ninth having passed Perez. Vettel would pit on lap thirty three taking on the medium tyre seeing Hamilton now second 13s behind Bottas. Leclerc was rapidly moving forward now in sixth. Albon would pit from fourth on lap thirty six taking on new soft tyres. Bottas would pit on lap thirty seven taking on the soft tyre and it would now come down to whether he could close the gap to Hamilton which was 9.4s. Robert had also pitted again switching to the medium tyre but he was two laps down.

 
Russell
 

Hamilton would also pit on lap forty four taking on the soft tyre and returning in third behind Vettel. Bottas was again leading. On lap forty four the order was Bottas, Vettel, Hamilton, Albon, Sainz, Leclerc, Gasly, Stroll, Hulkenberg, and Ricciardo tenth. But Ricciardo was able to get past his team-mate and into ninth and then eighth as he passed Stroll. Hamilton had closed the gap to Vettel and taken the fastest lap. Leclerc would pit again on lap forty eight seeing him switch to the soft tyre looking to get fastest lap. He would return in sixth behind Sainz. Hamilton was now right behind Vettel with traffic just in front. The team would give Vettel more performance with just two laps remaining. The Williams drivers were 18th and 19th while Perez would crash at Turn two on the last lap after trying to pass Gasly and the pair would make contact seeing the Racing Point off and into the barrier. Bottas would cross the line to take victory. Vettel would retain second with Hamilton third. Hamilton would get the fastest lap while the rest of the top ten would be Albon in fourth followed by Sainz, Leclerc, Ricciardo, Gasly, Hulkenberg, and Stroll tenth. For Williams both cars would make it to the finish but were way down the order in 18th and 19th with George leading Robert by a huge margin after Robert would make a second pit stop.