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“Extremely disappointing” weekend for Williams, says Dave Robson

George Russell in Imola. Credits: Williams Racing Photos.

It was not the best of the weekends for the Williams team, which after a decent performance in qualifying, saw both its cars out from the race after two heavy crashes. 

George Russell qualified in P12 on Saturday, and his teammate, Nicholas Latifi, put his Williams in P14. This was the team’s best result in qualifying after a long time. 

On Sunday, since Imola was hit by rain before the start of the race, the two Williams drivers started the Grand Prix on the inters (green tires). Unfortunately for Latifi, his race ended in the barriers after contact before the Variante Alta with Nikita Mazepin. It did not go well for Russell either, the Briton was driving a great race, and he was finding himself in the points. While trying to overtake Valtteri Bottas, however, the two collided and crashed out of the race. 

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, commented on the weekend, saying it was very disappointing to leave the Italian venue without scoring a single point. 

“It’s extremely disappointing to be leaving Imola with neither car having finished the race. We have had a decent weekend throughout, and in tricky conditions today we made good and timely decisions,” said Dave Robson.

“Although Nicholas found it a little difficult at the start on the Intermediate tires, he was unfortunate to touch the Haas and crash out. 

“George was good on the intermediate tires and did a great job behind the safety car to keep the car in a good state. As we moved to slick tires we were in a strong position, and although there was still a long way to go, George was comfortable and managing his car and tires well. We had the pace and speed to overtake Bottas, and had we been able to make the move cleanly we looked set for a strong finish.”

Even though the number of points on the standings is still zero for Williams, Robson said that there are many positive things that the team can look at after this weekend. 

“We can take a lot of positives from this weekend as the car and drivers have performed well and have been backed up by some excellent work in the garage and Grove. We missed a good opportunity to score points today, but we got ourselves into a good position on merit, and with many races remaining in the season, we should be confident of getting another good opportunity soon.”

George spoke about the incident with Valtteri, saying that they could have avoided it. However, the conditions in which they were racing did not help in that situation. 

“I think it was a very unfortunate incident and one that could have been avoided. Valtteri was defending hard, and he is in his right to do so. The track was going left, and he was going straight. In these conditions with one dry line, it only had one outcome. It is frustrating, but that is Formula One,” said Russell. 

Finally, Latifi admitted that this was not the result that the team wanted. He also pointed out that the conditions were extremely tricky. 

“In the end, it was not the result we wanted, so that is frustrating from my side. It was my mistake in tricky conditions, even the laps to the grid were difficult, and the spray was the worst I have ever seen it,” said the Canadian. 

“I had the first spin-off from a bit of rear locking, and then I re-joined the track. I tried to stay on the left-hand side, but naturally, the driver line takes you back to the right, so I knew I couldn’t just cut back across. I didn’t see Mazepin when I joined the track, but looking at the replay, I have seen we made contact and that sent me into the wall. It was an unfortunate end to the weekend as it was my mistake, so I’m sorry to the team for that.”

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