For the ROKiT Williams Team the
period covering the Singapore and Russian Grand Prix was one of very much
mixed news for the team with two crashes in the Singapore and Russian races
for George Russell, the withdrawal of Robert Kubica in Russia followed by a
please explain from team sponsor Orlen as to what were the circumstances of
his withdrawal followed by news regarding the teams continued work in the
development of parts in preparations for the 2020 season as well as comments
from George expressing his confidence as to the fact that he believes that
the team will have the 2020 FW43 ready on time. A total mix of news for the
Singapore would see George
Russell been involved in a crash in which Grosjean would make an attempt to
pass George with the end result being a badly damaged Williams after it had
been turned into the barrier. Regardless of where fault lay for the accident
the issue, which would have flow on effects in Russia, was the damage to the
car would start to place demands on the teams supply of spare parts.
But come Russia the Williams
Team would have to cope with a further crash where George would him his car
suffer a front left lock-up and would leave the track at speed and go front
first into the barrier damaging essentially the same part of the car that
was damaged in Singapore. It was later revealed by the team that the issue
behind George's crash was a wheel-retention issue. George had crashed shortly after making a pitstop.
Williams senior race engineer
Dave Robson would comment by saying:
"We found an issue with the wheel nut retainer on George's car, which
led to the front-right wheel not sitting perfectly. This caused a lock-up under braking.
"The design is very mature and well-proven. The remaining inventory will be
inspected thoroughly, and we do not anticipate a repeat of the issue."
But the crash from George would
see the team pit his team-mate Robert retiring his car in the pits. In post
race interviews the team and Robert would comment on the fact that the team
had a concern regarding the need to conserve parts that led to the
retirement of Robert's car.
But in what was a somewhat surprising move by team sponsor Orlen they would
publicly announce via Social media their expectation that the team would
supply a more detailed explanation as to why Robert was retired. Depending
upon the explanation from the Williams Team would determine whether or not
they would take any further action.
Orlen’s press officer, Joanna Zakrzewska said via Twitter:
“On connection with the withdrawal of Robert Kubica from Sunday’s Russian
Grand Prix, we have officially asked the ROKiT Williams Racing team for
clarification. Based on them, we will take actions related to the enforcement of
The Williams team would reply to this request and would stress the fact that
with the two crashes for George in Singapore and Russia they had concerns about having
enough spares for the next race in Japan.
Robson would add:
"Unfortunately, we were forced to retire Robert's car due to the amount of
accident damage we have sustained in the Singapore-Russia back-to-back races
in order to protect ourselves going into the next events. The team has worked extremely hard to ensure race quantities have improved
ahead of Japan and the final races."
At the time of writing there had
been no public announcement as to whether they are satisfied with the
Williams teams response.
But in what was a piece of more
positive comment was the comment from George with him saying that he is
confident that the team won’t suffer a repeat of the any delay of the
arrival of the FW43.
George would comment: “I am 100
percent sure we won’t have the same mistakes again next year as we’ve had
this year. I can bet my house that we will have a car for day one of winter
testing next year.” He would later go on to clarify that he does not own his
He added: “I don’t actually have
a house but I’d bet my parents’ house on it!”
“I’m sure and I’m very confident we will be more competitive next year.
We’re on a very good trajectory at the moment. Obviously it’s always easier
to improve when you’re starting off at a lower level. But the signs are good
at the moment that we’re on a good way.”
George would add: “This year has given us a really good opportunity to
explore a bit more with set-up: [try] some more extreme set-up items, how we
prepare the tyres, this, that and the other.
“If you are fighting in the midfield, you’d probably be reluctant to try
something drastic because each weekend could be a possibility for that.
Whereas for us we know regardless where we’ll be and that gives us an
opportunity to gain the learning on the set things like that and build or
create the best car mechanically from what’s there.”
In another piece of further
positive news coming from the Williams team was the announcement that they
would be bringing a new front wing to the Japanese Grand prix
In a recent interview with
Autosport.com Robson would comment on this by saying: "Hopefully there will
be a test front wing that should look a little bit different.
"If we get it there, and we run it on the Friday, you'll soon spot that.
It's kind of an experiment.
"It's hard to know [what the best concept is], that's part of the
experiment; it's interesting even now, when you look at the pitlane as the
cars come out and there's a couple of different distinct schools of thought
in the front wing design.
"Even almost a year on, it's not like everyone's snapped to the same design,
so there's a few different ideas and concepts out there.
"It's an experiment for us and we'll see how it goes; hopefully it'll
correlate well with what we expect and use that as the basis going into next
"You're still getting around doing the best job we can with the new rules to
try and control the front tyre wake as it passes further down the back of
"Everyone's doing the same thing but in different ways, and that's about
getting that dirty air out of the way. It's just another slightly different
way of doing that."
Robson was also asked whether or not the team would continue to use this new
front wing for the rest of the season if it delivers the results expected.
"It might do, but we're not assuming that at the moment, it's very much part
of the R&D for next year at this stage," he said. "But we'll see how it
So far in 2019, William's developments for its front wing have been minimal,
as it has retained the machete-shaped wing elements throughout the year.
But the team has updated its endplate, opting for a smaller, more
rectangular cut out in the upper trailing edge corner to assist with the
direction of out washing air."
As for whether the team had any further updates for the final races of the
season Robson added: "There's a few more bits and pieces.
"Some things that might stay on the car for the rest of the season if
they're better, other things that are just more R&D-type work and finalising
the aero plans for next year - and checking correlation back to the tunnel