Williams F1
Austrian GP: Race shows potential of Williams Racing
By Andrew Hooper
July 6 2020

The results of the 2020 Austrian GP would see Williams Racing finish with just one car, that of Nicholas Latifi, making it to the finish in 11th. The car of George Russell would retire with fuel pressure issues. Both cars would run near or at the back of the field but even though both drivers struggled for pace it did show that compared to 2019 the FW43 has made steps forward with George in particular able to match the pace of the lower midfield runners. Still a long way to go but it did show some potential for the future in what has been admitted to be an exercise which is not going to see the Williams cars running at the front of the midfield overnight.
 Williams Racing Austrian Grand Prix Race Review

The grid of the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix would see the Williams racing drivers start from 17th and 20th with George Russell ahead of team-mate Nicholas Latifi. At the front of the grid it was Bottas on pole but as a result of a last minute penalty Hamilton would be dropped to 5th and Verstappen was now second. Norris was third followed by Albon, Hamilton, Perez, Leclerc, Sainz, Stroll, and Ricciardo tenth. The drivers would all show their public support to the End Racism campaign with several going on to one knee on the grid. On the tyre front the top ten weer all on the soft tyre except Verstappen on the medium. Outside the top ten all were on the medium.

The grid would complete their parade lap and it would be Bottas leading while for Williams George was 18th and Nicholas 20th. George would drop to 19th as Bottas continued to lead. By lap six Bottas was still leading from Verstappen and Albon. Hamilton was now in fourth from Norris and Perez. For Williams both drivers were running at the back of the field with George still ahead of Nicholas. For Verstappen it would all go wrong when his car would slow and he would be forced to pit to retire. The order was now Bottas, Hamilton, Albon, Norris, Perez, Leclerc, Sainz, Stroll, Vettel and Ricciardo tenth.


Ricciardo would also have an issue and would pit to retire. This would see George and Nicholas 17th and 18th. Grosjean would make a mistake seeing both Williams cars get past as another car that of Stroll would retire in the pits. Grosjean had spun at Turn four and would pit to take new hard tyres. Magnussen would go off at Turn three with what seemed like a brake issue. Lap twenty eight and Bottas and Hamilton would both pit as a result of the Safety car coming out due to Magnussen. George would pit as well taking on the hard tyre. Nicholas would pit the next lap also going to the hard. Magnussen had a right front brake disk failure.

Only Perez was now on the hard tyre been on the medium. The Williams drivers were now running 13th and 16th. The Safety car would come in and we would see George get past Raikkonen to be 12th. Vettel would spin at Turn three trying to pass Sainz at Turn three. Vettel would drop to 15th. lap thirty three and Bottas was still leading from Hamilton, Albon, Perez, Norris, Leclerc, Sainz, Gasly, Kvyat, and Ocon tenth. Raikkonen would get past George seeing the Williams now 13th. Nicholas would be down in 16th as the field completed lap forty eight of seventy one laps.


Vettel would get past George seeing him now 14th but he would also be hit by an issue having lost power. This would see the safety car deployed. This would see Nicholas pit taking on new hard tyres. The order was now Bottas, Hamilton, Perez, Albon, Norris, Leclerc, Gasly, Ocon, Sainz and Giovinazzi tenth. But Raikkonen would lose his right front tyre seeing the wheel fly off. Both Mercedes were on hard tyres with Perez on the medium. Albon in fourth was on the soft tyre. Nicholas would pit taking on teh soft tyre now ahead of Giovinazzi and running in 12th. Albon was able to get back past Perez after having passed him just before the Safety car. But it would take a review to tell Albon to take the third place back.

The Safety Car would pull in and Bottas was again leading but Albon was trying to pas. This would see Albon and Hamilton make contact and Albon would spin dropping to last. But replays would show that Albon was a long way ahead. Nicholas was now running 12th but he would get passed by Albon. Leclerc was closing in onto the leaders passing Perez for third. Hamilton would be given a five second penalty for his contact with Albon. Perez would aso get a five second penalty for speeding in the pit lane. Albon would slow with an issue seeing Nicholas now 12th again. Norris would get past Perez for fourth at Turn three. Nicholas was now 11th as Kvyat retired with a right rear tyre failure destroying his suspension.


Bottas would take the flag to take victory in the 2020 Austrian GP with Leclerc second after the times were adjusted with the penalties. Norris would take third followed by Hamilton, Sainz, Perez, Gasly, Ocon, Giovinazzi, Vettel and Nicholas 11th. Despite not been able to take advantage of the penalties and retirements the Williams team was able to show that compared to 2019 they have started to return to been competitive. Small steps but at least the team is making progress.