Williams’ George Russell says the team had a “small issue” with their Mercedes PU on Friday as the reliability issues in testing continued.
The issue didn’t cost Russell too much time as he completed 146 laps on the final day of testing, but it was another worrying sign from a Mercedes PU which has looked fragile during pre-season testing ahead of the new campaign.
Russell’s team-mate Nicholas Latifi suffered from poor reliability earlier in the week, and although the cause of this latest problem remains under investigation, Russell still feels well prepared for the first race in Australia in two weeks.
“We had a small issue with the engine in the afternoon, but we had a good morning [where we did] a quali simulation with our turnaround. I think it was good preparation ahead of Melbourne,” he is quoted by Crash.net.
“I just get in and drive, I leave that to the guys at Mercedes and here. Obviously not ideal, but it’s one of those things. Mercedes is pushing the limits at the moment, and I’m sure they’ll go back and review everything.
“It made some funny noises and I started losing a bit of power. I don’t know if there’s an official word.
“We had planned to do two full race sims, and we got one-and-a-half in.
“Still loads of laps. We still got a full race sim in at the end of the day, I think, I don’t know exactly.”
Deputy team principal Claire Williams was clear that she trusts Mercedes fully to sort out these issues before the season-opener.
“Unfortunately, some of our run plans were impacted by the number of engine reliability issues that materialised over the six days and which primarily affected Nicholas [Latifi’s] running, but we have every confidence that Mercedes HPP will resolve these prior to actually racing.
“It’s still early days, but the car certainly looks better than last year’s and that’s what we wanted to demonstrate, that we can make progress.”