Williams may have a Mercedes engine, but George Russell says the team can’t use it to maximum effect because of how “draggy” the FW43 is.
The Grove outfit hit rock bottom in 2019 when they spent the season squabbling among themselves for P19 and P20 at the back of the grid, finishing bottom in the Constructors’ Championship with just one point.
And whilst the team are still looking for their first point in 2020, they have at least been able to battle with the other midfield runners in qualifying.
That’s because of how “draggy” the FW43 is, so even though the car is powered by the Mercedes engine, considered to be the most powerful on the grid, Russell says the team can’t use its full capabilities.
When asked by Motorsportweek.com if he expected Williams to have an advantage over their rivals at the Belgian GP, Russell said: “No, actually. No.
“Even though we have the strongest engine in the back we are by far the ‘draggiest’ car on the grid.
“That is why you’ve seen us go really strong in Budapest the last two years because it is not a power sensitive circuit as such and even though we have a lot of power we’re not really utilising it because we have so much drag on the car.
“So compared to the Racing Point and the Mercedes we are a huge amount of speed down on them, purely because the car is so draggy. Even though on paper you think ‘well, we have a Mercedes, we should be flying in Spa and Monza’ it’s not the case because unfortunately aerodynamically we have really poor efficiency in the car and that will actually make it really tough for us.”
Another triple-header done ✅
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) August 20, 2020
Williams do of course have hope for the future though after they were purchased by American private investment company Dorilton Capital, giving them the funds they believe are needed to become competitive again in the future.
“The Strategic Review was a useful process to go through and proved that both Formula One and Williams have credibility and value,” deputy team principal Claire Williams told the team’s website.
“We have now reached a conclusion and we are delighted that Dorilton are the new owners of the team. When we started this process, we wanted to find a partner who shared the same passion and values, who recognised the team’s potential and who could unlock its power.
“In Dorilton we know we have found exactly that. People who understand the sport and what it takes to be successful. People who respect the team’s legacy and will do everything to ensure it succeeds in the future.
“As a family we have always put our team first. Making the team successful again and protecting our people has been at the heart of this process from start. This may be the end of an era for Williams as a family owned team, but we know it is in good hands. The sale ensures the team’s survival but most importantly will provide a path to success.
“We are enormously grateful to Dorilton for the faith they have shown in our team and we look forward to working with them now. I would also like to thank the Williams Board and our advisers who have worked tirelessly over the past months to make this happen and our employees who have remained steadfastly loyal.”