George Russell believes Williams have “reduced the gap” to the midfield teams, but still expects to be driving the “slowest” car in 2020.
While the reliability of Mercedes’ engine provided a few speed bumps for Williams in pre-season testing, the team did show a marked improvement on last years’ performance, actually showing up for the start this year and competing with the midfield runners throughout the six days.
Understandably that has generated some excitement that the Grove outfit could rejoin the midfield battle this year after two poor seasons spent on their own at the back, but Russell has urged caution.
While he does believe the gap between Williams and those ahead has shrunk, he also thinks it’s realistic to expect to still be behind the midfield pace.
“No doubt we’re in a better position,” he is quoted by Autosport.
“I think realistically, we are still the slowest car.
“We’re not going to get carried away with ourselves, but we’ve definitely reduced the gap.
“That’s all we could have hoped for over over the winter.
“We’ll go into Melbourne and see, but don’t expect to see us in Q2 or Q3.
“We’ve definitely improved but expectations are all under control.
“Last year when we outperformed our car we were still qualifying 19th and finishing 19th, so I hope this year when people slip up and we perform well, that’s when we can take the opportunities.
“I know where we’ve gained, but quantifying it versus the other teams is difficult.”