Williams not expecting Sochi to suit FW43

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George Russell Williams

Jost Capito, Williams’ incoming CEO, has admitted “miracles are not to be expected” as the team aim to improve their fortunes in 2021.

After running in the points for most of the Tuscan Grand Prix, Williams isn’t expecting to be as strong at Sochi.

The British team was unlucky not to score its first points of 2020 at Mugello courtesy of George Russell, who was running in the top 10 up until the final restart.

It was the closest Russell had come to points all season and the strongest that his car had looked. Heading to Russia though, he doesn’t expect to be as competitive.

“It was disappointing missing out on those points at Mugello, points that I felt we thoroughly deserved. However, it has given me and the team greater motivation to go out there and extract even more performance from the car,” Russell said in the team’s Russian Grand Prix preview.

“Russia is a circuit that on paper won’t suit us as much as Mugello, but we have learnt some things with the set-up in the recent weeks that I hope will allow us to be more competitive with our nearest rivals.

“I think everybody will have enjoyed a well-deserved week off after an intense 11 weeks, and will be back ready and fighting in Russia.”

George Russell Williams not happy.jpg
George Russell believes being “honest with myself” is the best way to progress as a driver and continue his rise towards the pinnacle of Formula 1.

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Dave Robson, the team’s head of vehicle performance, echoed Russell’s sentiments, stating that the low-speed corners, in particular, will be an issue for the car.

That being said, he’s optimistic that they can make the most of the tyre compounds to remain in with a chance of a top 10 finish.

“We enjoyed a very good weekend in Mugello but were very disappointed not to score any points,” he said.

“However, there were a lot of positives to come out of the last race weekend and our job here in Russia is to continue the good work, build on the momentum and understand how to apply the experience to the streets of Sochi.

“Traditionally we have found the tyres difficult to get working on the smooth surface, however, this year Pirelli have brought their softest compounds, and this may make things easier as well as opening up a greater variety of strategies on Sunday.

“In complete contrast to Mugello, there are no real high-speed corners in Sochi, but instead a lot of low and medium speed 90-degree corners. The FW43 is not especially well suited to this kind of corner, but we have a few ideas to improve the car in this regard and so we will have a busy Friday.”

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