Lance Stroll, Williams, Red Bull Ring, 2017

Lap time watch: Williams fail to keep up with their rivals in Austria

2017 Austrian Grand Prix

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With one exception, every team is at least a second and a half quicker than they were at this track 12 months ago.

Williams are struggling terribly in Austria. The FW40 posted a best time just 0.377 seconds quicker than what they managed last year, despite an off-season regulations overhall which has seen lap times fall across the board:

“We simply weren’t quick enough,” chief technical officer Paddy Lowe admitted. “There’s not much more to say than that really.”

The team introduced a new upgrade package this weekend and Lowe said the team hadn’t managed to solve its set-up problems from yesterday.

“We’ve had good and bad balance through the weekend so far, but in the end it’s not about the balance, we just simply aren’t quick enough today.”

“We did a lot of work overnight trying to understand the pace from yesterday but none of the things we’ve tried really adjust the fundamental issue, so we need to go away and analyse that further to see where we are.”

On this short and fairly straightforward layout most teams have picked up between 1.8 and 2.3 seconds compared to 12 months ago. Medium-to-high speed corners make up a significant part of the lap, and so the performance gains here are particularly impressive. Only in Spain did the cars pick up more speed compared to two years ago:

The pole position time, set by Valtteri Bottas, is the shortest F1 has seen at any track in 32 years. On that occasion Nigel Mansell took pole position at Kyalami with a lap of 1’02.366.

2017 Austrian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Lap time watch: Williams fail to keep up with their rivals in Austria”

  1. raveendhana
    8th July 2017, 17:43

    williams are a over rated team in f1 these days.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      8th July 2017, 18:41

      What exactly do you mean by that? Do you mean people say the team is more competitive than it is? Or that the drivers are over rated? What seems to be the case is that the Williams is very good on particular tracks and really poor on others. For example, they have always really struggled at Monaco in recent years. But at Canada, they were possibly the 3rd strongest team. Certainly the 4th best at worst. They seem to build the car to suit particular tracks very well indeed. There are advantages to this, but also disadvantages. As they have such a low down force car, they really struggle round slower corners. But here, they seem to have struggled round faster corners too. Quite surprising.

      1. Raveendhana
        8th July 2017, 20:14

        I mean to say they have been getting things wrong, they usually have a pretty all round car that’s why they came third best team in the constructors championship in 2015, now it’s not the case, so saying their car suited to certain circuits is not good for them

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