Williams to start ‘on back foot’ in 2022 with no tyre test

Henry Valantine
Williams driver George Russell. Austin October 2021.

George Russell drives around the Circuit of The Americas. Austin October 2021.

Dave Robson admits Williams will be at a disasdvantage heading into 2022, as they cannot take part in Pirelli’s end-of-season tyre test.

The team’s head of vehicle performance says this simply boils down to finances, as the team did not have the resources to be able to produce a ‘mule car’ prior to Dorilton Capital’s takeover in 2020, which would be able to carry out the testing on the new low-profile tyres coming into Formula 1 next year.

As a result, Williams are the only team to have not carried out any running on the new Pirelli compounds this season, with the tyre manufacturer having completed more than 4000 laps with their competitors as they developed their construction for 2022 and beyond.

There will be a post-season test in Abu Dhabi for teams to get to grips with Pirelli’s finalised product, but Williams will not be able to complete any running, but they hope to be able to close the deficit quickly.

“Unfortunately we won’t be doing anything,” said Williams head of vehicle performance,Robson,  quoted by GPFans. “We won’t be running a car there because we don’t have a mule car and that stops us from running at the test.

“My understanding is that if you don’t have the mule car, you are not entitled to do the test. So we won’t be there.

“What will we ultimately lose? We start the winter testing a little bit on the back foot probably but I would hope if the car is running well then after we’ve done the tests that we can catch up quickly.”

Given that the rest of the teams are set to run in the tyre test, this will put more emphasis on how well Williams’ car runs in the lead-up to the 2022 season, for which they will hope for trouble-free laps in Barcelona and Bahrain, to work out how the new tyres work.

But as the team have long known they will not be able to take part in Abu Dhabi, Robson thinks the team will be able to get themselves back on track by the time next season begins.


“It’s a decision that was made an awfully long time ago and I’m not complaining about it,” he added. “We would like to be at the test but we are not so I think ultimately we won’t be that far behind once the races start.”

Pirelli have created their new 18-inch wheels with the prerogative from Formula 1 that the tyres should be able to be pushed harder for longer, making for better racing throughout the field without the immediate risk of overheating.


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