Williams F1
Russell uncertain over 2020 improvements
By Andrew Hooper
December 21 2019

ROKiT Williams Racing 2020 lead driver George Russell has been the focus of much media comment regarding the teams prospects for the 2020 Formula One season. After a very difficult 2019 season Russell is still confident that the team will be able to produce a far more competitive 2020 car. But despite his positive comments there has also been an air of uncertainty as to how far these improvementrs will see the Williams Team move forward relative to their midfield competition. 
 Russell uncertain over 2020 improvements

As is well known the 2019 Formula One season was amongst the most difficult for the ROKiT Williams team with the team scoring only a single point in the 2019 Constructors championship. The season would commence with a series of issues starting with the late arrival of the FW42 seeing the team miss part of the 2019 pre-season testing followed on by immediately apparent performance issues with the car. The team would struggle to get on top of these issues and it would not be until well past the mid-season where the team would start to bring updates designed to reduce the performance deficit.

Despite this the team would finish the 2019 season with only a small improvement relative to the other teams who had been improving as well during the season. Now the discussions have switched to the 2020 season with the team putting forward the view that the issues with the 2019 FW42 would not be repeated in the 2020 FW43. There has been an air of optimism with in the team  One person close to the behind the scenes developments at the Williams team is their driver George Russell.

In various F1 media outlets Russell has spoken on the subject of the 2020 season and the teams chances of seeing an improvement over their poor 2019 season. Russell has been divided in his comments as to what the teams fortunes will be in 2020 ranging from a belief that the Williams team will be able to turn their fortunes around and again focus on joining the other midfield teams in the 2020 season. Despite the fact that this will require a big improvement over the 2019 form he is confident that changes made within the team during the 2019 season will come into play and see the team produce a far more competitive car for the 2020 season.

In a recent interview with MotorsportWeek.com Russell said: “I’d say success [next year] would be fighting in the midfield. Realistically that’s the most we could hope for.

“We’re definitely going to make a big step for next year but we obviously don’t know how much everyone else is going to improve.

“I do definitely believe we’re going to be in the fight next year. It definitely won’t be like it was four or five years ago for the team, but we’ll definitely be in a position that we know every weekend we’ve got a chance of Q2.”

As for the steps that the team took during the 2019 season, even though they did not produce any substantial improvements Russell was of the view that they were all done for a reason. In an additional interview Russell has added: “Well everything for this year was done with a purpose.

"They understood why: there wasn’t a huge amount of correlation between the track and the wind tunnel and obviously Formula 1 is 95 per cent aero, and when your main aero tool is not working as it should then that’s not ideal.

But despite these positive comments Russell has also been careful, to point out that a lot of the Williams teams potential improvements in 2020 must be judged against the level of improvement that other teams make.

In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport Russell was careful in how he saw the 2020 season and the prospects for the Williams team. Russell added: “It would be presumptuous to say that we will be in the midfield next year.

“What I can say is that if everyone else would stand still over the winter, we would be in the midfield.”

The fact that this is unlikely to happen does show a degree of uncertainty on the part of the Williams Teams 2020 lead driver.