George Russell has highlighted Williams’ race pace as a concern following the first two races of the 2020 season in Austria.
There are glimmers of hope to found at Williams as they are not as so far cut adrift from the rest of the Formula 1 field and Russell was able to end the team’s lengthy Q2 drought with a wonderful performance during a wet Saturday qualifying.
But, judging by race day performances alone, there is still a lot of room for improvement and Russell says the pace shown in the race is actually against the team’s initial expectations.
“Our pace was particularly slow and it has been now for two weeks in a row,” Russell said via RaceFans.net.
“Coming into these two race weekends we thought our race pace would be stronger than our qualy pace and it’s absolutely turned out to be the opposite way. So we need to understand that and improve.”
Russell certainly made life harder for himself starting from P11 in round two after an early visit to the gravel trap, something he has apologised for on multiple occasions.
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) July 13, 2020
Meanwhile, Claire Williams, deputy team principal, declared herself happy with the progress being made, especially in qualifying, but said they were not expecting their immediate rivals, Haas and Alfa Romeo, to be as quick as they were in race trim.
“I think it’s great to have two races under our belt, Claire Williams said.
We’d had a great time overall in Austria and I think the team should be very proud of everything we have managed to achieve.
“Obviously we leave here without the result we would have liked and probably expecting.
“Unfortunately the race pace of the Haas and the Alfa’s was a lot quicker than we modelled on Friday during the long running.
“There have still been quite a lot of highlights [in the two races].
“Nicholas’ performances in both races…I think he’s delivered higher than expectations.
“Certainly in his first race he did an extraordinary job and that was really wonderful to watch.
“George’s qualifying in race two in Austria was a real shot in the arm for everyone at Williams.”