It was all going so well. Williams seemed to be on a revival at last, with the surprising second place on the grid in Belgium (and eventually the final result of the washed out race) as a highlight. Yet in recent weeks all form seems to have disappeared. George Russell and Nicholas Latifi are currently battling it out in the back of the grid. Especially during qualifying it suddenly goes less.
How can this be, is what one wonders at Williams? The upward trend seems to have come to a halt. Indeed, the team finds itself on a sliding scale downwards. “Everyone at Williams is frustrated,” George Russell tells German Speedweek. “We don’t quite understand what has happened. In the past we often had excellent Saturdays, but on Sundays it was a bit more difficult. But lately the speed just wasn’t there on Saturdays.”
In Qatar, Russell was the victim of a puncture, as was his stablemate Latifi, who even had to retire. “That was maybe the race where I could get the best result because of the layout. It was fun, but didn’t yield any results. The tire wear was particularly dramatic on the front left, but no problem with the rear. I could have driven back to England with those rear tyres!”
Tyres the problem?
It’s anyone’s guess as to what caused the problems for Russell. Yet one explanation for the setback could be the tyres, then. “I think our problem is ultimately down to how we get the tyres to work. Everything was a bit strange in Qatar. In free practice, under the burning sun, we were able to improve on the same tyres on our third lap. That really shouldn’t be possible.”