Russell: No signs yet of Williams gap closing

Date published: March 14 2021 - Finley Crebolder

George Russell

While he thinks things will improve, George Russell says there are no signs from testing that Williams have closed the gap ahead of them.

The British team encountered few problems over the course of the three days in Bahrain, completing a total of 373 laps without any breakdowns.

What’s more, ranking each team by the fastest time they set, Williams were P5 courtesy of Russell.

Despite this though, he says that there’s nothing from the data gathered to suggest that his team has closed the gap to the midfield pack ahead.

“These conditions sort of brought out the worst in this car, and we anticipated that before, so there’s no signs as yet that we’ve closed the gap,” he said after the session.

“But I think there will be a big swing for us, I think you will see quite a yo-yo effect for us this season. I think we’ll be faster at events and maybe very slow at others.

“And as I said, these conditions in these past three days are the worst conditions we’d like to see for our race car.”

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Specifically, Russell was referring to the high winds that were present at the circuit throughout the three days.

Every team was affected by them, but the Brit feels that his car is more sensitive to them than others, and is at least pleased that they can now analyse the effects that has on performance from the data gathered.

“We knew it coming into this season and it was sort of confirmed today that we believe our car is very sensitive to the wind, as most teams are,” he added.

“They [the conditions] sort of highlighted our issues which has been positive in a way to give us a chance to dig into the data.”

Alfa Romeo and Haas were the teams that Williams fought with at the back of the grid last year, and the Italian team, in particular, has looked strong in pre-season testing.

The performances of Kimi Raikkonen specifically caught the eye of Russell, with the Finn setting the fourth-fastest time of anyone over the course of the three days.

“There are some good signs, but equally it’s early days,” Russell stated.

“Kimi is looking very, very fast, no doubt, and the midfield guys are looking fast as well so yeah, we’ll have to wait and see.”

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