In the lead up to the 2019
Spanish Grand Prix the Williams team, through drivers Robert Kubica and
George Russell as well as Deputy Principal Claire Williams, have taken the
opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues ranging from the damaged
chassis from Baku through to the updates that the team will be running this
weekend and the future prospects for the ROKiT Williams Team.
In regard to the chassis that
was damaged when George hit a loose manhole cover in Friday practice for the
Azerbaijan Grand Prix the team made it clear that it has been repaired and
is available for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. In addition to this the
team also had to complete some minor work on the chassis that Robert crashed
Claire spoke of this saying:
"Both chassis have been repaired from both incidents over the Baku weekend,
and both are here, as is the spare chassis as well."
"The guys have done a phenomenal
job at the factory getting them into the system and then all repaired to
have them all here."
The team has said that this
weekend will see Robert using the chassis that George was forced to switch
to after his was damaged in Baku, Chassis #3.
George added: "A lot of teams
will bring sizeable upgrades to this weekend but, unfortunately, a lot due
to the Baku incident everything had pretty much stopped in the production to
rebuild the chassis, rebuild floors and additional parts that were broken
from that incident."
The next area of discussion, which has been around for quite some time,
focuses on the issues of the issue of providing Robert with a chassis that
he can feel confident is the same as his team-mates. Even as early as
pre-season testing Robert had spoke of his frustration of having to cope
with a car that despite having an identical setup behaved very differently
when compared to that of his team-mate.
Robert has spoken of several
occasions of his belief that their were underlying aerodynamic differences
between his and that of his team-mate.
Earlier in the season Robert said: "It's clear that we are driving two
different cars with the same set-up, so that is something we need to
"It's quite obvious on the
But coming into the Spanish
weekend the Williams has spoken of their confidence that they are now
providing "identical" chassis to the two drivers..
Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams spoke of how Robert had suspected a
difference in the the floors on the two FW42s. But this floor is no longer
in use as it was damaged beyond repair in Baku.
"I know Robert has thought that the floors were slightly different," said
"We haven't been able to clearly demonstrate through scans that we've done
that they are, but clearly if a driver is telling you that he believes one
is different to the other, we've got to get to the bottom of that, which
we're trying to do at the moment.
"But then, the feeling that Robert had around that floor, [it] was the floor
that was on George's car during the Baku manhole cover incident anyway, so
that's effectively gone.
"The chassis, as far as we're concerned, themselves, they're identical
Robert would add that he felt that the team "finally had an understanding"
of the problem that affected his FW42 earlier in the season.
Robert added: "Hopefully this will be fixed, and at least it will give me
better, let's say, comfort and consistency on the car."
"Everyone in the paddock is looking for performance, and to have better
driveability, to have a better understanding of the package, of the tyres,
of everything. Once you add variation which shouldn't be there, it's not
"In some areas it was affecting me more, on some tracks, some others, less,
but I am looking forward to seeing if we were able to fix it and see how it
will be the feeling."
Claire also spoke of the issue that the team has experienced issues with and
is was expecting to see an improvement in Spain was the FW42's brake system.
"We have a particular issue with our brake system that we believe we found a
solution to, but again, we've got to wait until we run that solution
tomorrow, and then we'll understand whether we've resolved that problem,"
"If we can fix that, and then some of the other mechanical issues that we're
looking at at the moment, then we'll be in better shape, but clearly the
programme to deliver performance from an aero perspective is ongoing."
As for the search for improved performance the team has said that they will
be bringing "a few little updates" to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
For George he expressed the view
that these updates will "give us a good indication of how the rest of the
season will pan out".
"It's definitely going to get easier from now on in and I have confidence
that we are going to make progress," George said. "The team is working
extremely hard and we have some quite exciting things in the pipeline.
"How close that will bring us to the rest of the pack I don't know but these
weekend's are making us stronger. I do believe at some point we'll be able
to turn it around."
George added that Williams will not have a "full update" at Spain rather
focusing on "a number of different things from aerodynamics to brakes".
"It will give us a clear direction of where we need to focus," he added.
"And based on those results it will help us understand if we've got any hope
for the remainder of the season or not."
As for the teams prospects for the rest of the 2019 season in an interview
with Sky Sports Claire spoke of how the team is still working extremely hard
to improve but that it is going to be a challenging task for the team.
Claire said: "I think that's quite a long journey back to the midfield for
us. We're nearly a second and a half on average away from P9 [the
ninth-fastest team] and that's a huge amount of time to make up in Formula
"But we are bringing test items to every race, we've got to evaluate those
and we've got to hope that they do deliver that performance.
"It's going to be very difficult to move away from where we are for this
year, certainly. But for us it's about how much time can we make up.
"If we ended this year one, two seconds quicker… everyone else is going to
move forwards as well, we've got to take that into consideration.
"It is a journey for us at the moment and it is going to take time - we
always said that."
"We knew it was going to be tough for us again in 2019 and it's about
staying on the path that we're on, not deviating from it and not getting
freaked out because things aren't looking as we'd like them to," she added.
"Things take time in Formula 1 and we just need a bit of patience."