Mexican GP: FP1 sees further testing for ROKiT Williams

By Andrew Hooper
October 25 2019

The opening Friday practice session for the 2019 Mexican GP would see the ROKiT Williams team finish slowest but their focus was on doing back to back testing of various components on the FW42. Nicholas Latifi would replace Robert Kubica for this session with himself and George Russell running the newer front wing but Nicholas had the older barge board configuration for this session. Given their evaluations it was difficult to assess their ultimate pace but Nicholas would finish a second behind his team-mate.

 ROKiT Williams Mexican GP Friday 1st Practice

Team Summary:
With the start of the opening Friday practice for the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix there would be a mix of tyres been used as drivers started to come out. Both Williams drivers were on soft tyres. With rain having fallen earlier there were drivers coming out on intermediate tyres. Both Williams drivers would complete their installation laps with it been very much the case of back to back testing of different configurations. With ten minutes completed the only driver yet to come out was Hamilton but he would eventually do so. A Williams with Latifi would go quickest with a 1m:24.463 but Bottas would move ahead with a 1m:21.887 running on the medium tyre.

Sainz would go quickest with a 1m:21.613 but Hamilton would move ahead with a 1m:21.127. Vettel would also improve as the track conditions improved with a 1m:20.148 only to see Bottas again quickest with a 1m:19.889 and then Hamilton with a 1m:19.483. With the competition of the first runs the Williams drivers were 17th and 18th. At the front there would be further changes with Hamilton improving with a 1m:19.004 only to see Leclerc go quicker with a 1m:18.849. Verstappen was now third followed by Vettel, Bottas and Albon in sixth. The Williams drivers were now slowest of the field. With the first forty minutes completed the drivers would pit to return this set of tyres.

With their next runs the Williams drivers both on the soft tyre would improve to be 14th and 17th. the  session would be red flagged when Stroll would crash his car sliding sideways into the barrier. He was able to continue back to the pits but there was work that had to be done in regard to the barrier. Prior to this Albon had gone quickest with a 1m:17.949 followed now by Bottas and Leclerc with the top two on the soft tyre and Leclerc the medium. The session would restart with just under twenty minutes remaining. Both Williams drivers would return running on the soft tyre. They would improve their times but would dropt o be 19th and 20th. Hamilton had returned to ten top of the times with a 1m:17.327 now followed by Leclerc, Verstappen, Albon, Bottas, Sainz, Vettel, Gasly, Giovinazzi, and Hulkenberg tenth. As the session wound down the Williams drivers would return for another soft tyre run. With the end of the session they would not improve remaining slowest but the quicker of the Williams drivers was 1.5 seconds off the 10th placed car running on the same tyre. The top ten would be Hamilton, Leclerc, Verstappen, Albon, Bottas, Vettel, Sainz, Gasly, Kvyat, and Giovinazzi tenth.

Nicholas Latifi:
Nicholas would be running in the opening Friday practice session for the next three races and in this session he would be given the role of aero testing with the new front wing that the team was testing. Nicholas would be first to come out for Williams with the start of the session running on the soft tyre. He would pit and change front wings returning to the original configuration. Nicholas would complete a single installation lap with his car also running the older barge board configuration. With twenty minutes completed Nicholas would return this time on the intermediate tyre. He was no longer running the aero rakes and would pit returning on the soft tyre. He would set a 1m:24.463 to be the only car to set a time. He would improve with a 1m:23.288 to be currently sixth.

Nicholas would drop to 14th and then further down the order. he would set a 1m:22.996 to be ahead of his team-mate. But George would move ahead seeing Nicholas 18th. Nicholas would pit having completed ten laps on the soft tyre. His second run would see him run the old front wing and barge board configuration running on the soft tyre and would set a 1m:21.699 to be 17th. This was an improvement of over a second. he would pit after a five lap run. Nicholas would return with the session restart and would drop to 20th despite setting an improved 1m:21.566. This would see him 1.018 behind his team-mate. He would pit after a five lap run returning for a further soft tyre run. He would pit with the end of the session having completed an seven lap run.

George Russell:
George would follow his team-mate out also on the soft tyre. George was running the new barge board configuration but the older front wing. With just over an hour remaining and George would return remaining on the soft tyre. George's initial lap was a 1m:33.225 but he would improve with a 1m:23.147 to move ahead of his team-mate. But Nicholas would improve to be ahead followed by George improving with a 1m:22.947 to be 0.049 ahead of Nicholas. George had improved with a 1m:22.874 to be just 0.122 ahead of Nicholas. George would comment that his left front looked like cheese. For his next run the new front wing would go onto his car and he would seta 1m:20.940 to be 14th. He would pit after a three lap run. After a red flag was cleared he would return for a further soft tyre run. He would improve with a 1m:20.548 to be 17th, dropping to 19th. He would pit after a three lap run also returning for a further soft tyre run. He would complete eight laps with the end of the session.

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m17.327s 25
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.119s 23
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 0.134s 17
4 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 0.622s 21
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.678s 25
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.891s 20
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1.074s 21
8 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1.266s 23
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1.508s 27
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1.632s 22
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1.684s 22
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1.686s 22
13 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1.878s 22
14 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1.972s 23
15 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 2.172s 23
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 2.352s 21
17 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 2.390s 23
18 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 2.523s 22
19 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 3.221s 26
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 4.239s 30

pqs: qs:
Mexican GP: FP1 sees further testing for ROKiT Williams
Posted by: Williams F1 (IP Logged)
Date: 25/10/2019 18:03

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