Increased pace will ‘ramp up pressure’ for Williams

Date published: October 6 2021 - Finley Crebolder

George Russell preparing to leave the garage. Great Britain July 2021

Dave Robson says the faster their car is, the more pressure Williams will be under as they will have more to lose.

The British team have spent the last few seasons at the back of the grid, but that has started to change in recent races with them scoring points in four of the last five rounds.

In terms of outright pace as well as results, they are starting to look more like a midfield team again rather than a backmarker.

Robson has warned against getting carried away though and expects things to get tougher going forward if their pace continues to improve.

“[We have to be] a little bit careful we don’t get lost in our own hubris,” said the team’s head of vehicle performance, quoted by Autosport.com.

“I’m still conscious of the fact the quicker the car gets – and hopefully we’ll see a big step next year [with the] relative pace of the car – then the pressure will still ramp up a lot.

“We’re still in a position at the moment where we’ve a lot to win and not a huge amount to lose, which does take a bit of the pressure off.

“So it will be a different ballgame for a lot of people on the race team who don’t have huge amounts of experience of operating a quick car.

“It can be a different kind of pressure. But far better we go into it not making too many mistakes, and try to build on that, as opposed to going into it having not got that momentum. I think we are in a good position.”

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While Williams have had much stronger pace in recent times, the success of George Russell and co has also been largely down to good strategy calls in changing conditions.

Robson says having a slower car than their rivals has allowed them to take more risks in that regard.

 

“In Russia, once we got into Q3 in those kind of circumstances, we don’t have a lot to lose. The teams that expect to be in the top three, four or five, they have a lot to lose,” he said.

“If we got that wrong, and using slick tyres had been the wrong call, there isn’t time to put the inters back on and get a meaningful lap. And so we’d have been 10th. And that’s much more difficult for the top teams to take that chance.

“So, a bit like Spa, we were happy to try it. We were already quite happy having got 10th at worst, so it gives us the freedom to make those decisions.

“I think the other thing that underlines the whole operation recently is it’s just a good group of people doing a good job, and being put into a position where we can do a good job.”