Acknowledging that Williams’ FW42 was not “100%” when it hit the track last Wednesday, George Russell says the team has “no idea” about the car’s potential performance level.
Desperate to recover from a wretched 2018 campaign, Williams’ 2019 preparations could not have began on a worse note.
The team missed the opening two days of pre-season testing as the car was not ready.
The FW42 finally took to the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday afternoon with the team managing 88 laps in a day and a half.
That was in sharp contrast to the likes of Mercedes, who covered 610 laps during the opening test.
It was, however, a start although one that has given Williams little indication as to what they expect from their FW42.
“It was very important to get some mileage under our belt and just get a feel for the car,” he told Racer.
“I’ve only done about 11 proper laps in the car but it gives us a good understanding of where we are at, the limitations and what we need to work on.
“It is definitely not in its full state – we’ve got some work to do to optimise everything because it is all last-minute so not everything has been 100%.
“We were trying to get the car on track in whatever means possible, which was important in itself.
“We just need to work hard to get everything ready for Tuesday.
“At this stage we’ve been so limited for mileage we have no idea what state the car is going to be in performance-wise.
“We are still trying to be positive and see how things progress over this weekend and see how things are going to be next week.
“Obviously we are behind the others in terms of experience but I’ve got full faith in the guys to do the job.”
— ROKiT WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) February 21, 2019
However, the reigning Formula 2 champion, who will partner Robert Kubica at Williams this season, insists it is not all doom and gloom.
“I think even myself, until you are involved in a Formula 1 team, you don’t understand how much work goes on just to get a Formula 1 car on the track.
“I went around the factory and met everyone in January and I was amazed.
“Despite being in a Formula 1 team for two years, I was still amazed about how much effort goes in to make the simplest of parts.
“We’ve seen it before – Force India missed the whole of the 2015 test, I want to say, and they still finished fifth in the championship.
“You don’t get points for testing, so who knows what will happen.”