Robert Kubica, Williams, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Williams disappointed but not surprised by Canada performance

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Williams senior race engineer Dave Robson admits the team was disappointed to have fallen even further off the pace in the Canadian Grand Prix:

What they say

It’s a bit disappointing but I think having been to Baku where the kind of circuit efficiency is similar it maybe wasn’t a massive surprise.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Anon has an explanation for Hamilton’s replacement hydraulics

since it has been raised, this is what the regulations actually say about replacing a part in parc ferme:

“It must be clear that any replacement part a team wishes to fit is similar in design, mass, inertia and function to the original. Any parts removed will be retained by the FIA.”

When you look at the parc ferme scruitineering reports, you will see that pretty much every single team will be changing components in parc ferme every single race weekend though. As it happens, only one race earlier in Monaco, Sainz had the entire hydraulics system for his engine replaced and all of the electrical sensors for the hydraulics system remapped whilst his car was in parc ferme.

Unless we are going to have people also claiming that the FIA are favouring McLaren for letting them do much the same thing just one race earlier, it sounds as if what Mercedes did seems to be fairly standard practise and AMuS seem to have oversold the significance of the claim.

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On this day in F1

  • 20 years ago today Mika Hakkinen took the championship lead by winning a lively Canadian Grand Prix as Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve hit the ‘Wall of Champions’

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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33 comments on “Williams disappointed but not surprised by Canada performance”

  1. Williams is in the bottom row, but what does explain Russel 1s ahead of Kubica.
    Before his accidents, Kubica was the most promising and exciting driver in my opinion.
    The fact he can get back into the F1 car is amazing, but it seems he is not the same anymore.

    1. Not (just) before his accidents. Before being out of F1 for years and years and years. I get the impression the accidents are the least of Kubica’s problems in terms of modern day F1 performance.

  2. Kubica continues to indicate there are inherent issues with the car – whether this is specific to his car only is uncertain.

    Kubica’s Williams F1 car was turning under braking in Canadian GP

    “Often the car was turning without really turning the steering wheel, just on the braking, and I don’t know what to say honestly. It has been very difficult to keep it on track.”

    “But for the speed I had I took too many risks. But that’s how it is.

    “The car was feeling relatively nice to drive,” Russell said when asked by Autosport.

    Russell acknowledged that the new front suspension introduced in Canada had been an improvement.

    “Before we had a car that wasn’t nice to drive and lacking downforce, now we’ve got a car that lacks downforce, so we’re making progress.”

    1. @phylyp It’s a difficult situation because Robert has been reporting these issues all season yet despite repeated test’s the team haven’t found any problems with his car. They have also since built up 2 brand new chassis which both drivers have been using since Monaco.

      A bigger problem for him is that for the Spanish Gp the team swapped the cars & Russell reported no problems with the one Kubica had driven over the first 4 races.

      Usually in this sort of situation the team are able to back-up what the driver is saying either by looking at the data or by putting the car on a rig that can run through a series of checks to compare it’s rigidity among other things & compare to the other chassis available. In this case however nothing seems to back up what Robert is reporting & that in my experience is unusual, Especially after this many races.

      Not saying that Robert is making excuses or anything, Just that it’s odd for the team not to have found something to back him up by now.

      1. @gt-racer – I agree, it is definitely odd to hear these repeated complaints coming from Kubica. I didn’t know of the car swappage at Spain, and it is very interesting to hear that Russell was OK with the car.

        From many drivers, I’d write off such complains as making excuses. However, it seems odd that Kubica might be doing so, especially with the fortitude it took him to return to racing. So, this saga has left me feeling confused as to what’s going on. Oh well, I’m in good company, it appears that Williams’ technical leadership are in the same boat. :)

        1. @phylyp I might also argue whatever setup changes are needed for Kubica are making an additional workload for a team under pressure

          Racers who have different abilities should absolutely, without question, be allowed in F1. However, the current system rigs everything so badly (in terms of team expenditure differences etc) that even trying it is caning a team already badly hurt. That should not be the feedback loop for this – this was bold and exciting, the sort of thing F1 should be about; the fastest, the best, no matter who or how.

          It is – I think, as someone in the disability community – something truly awful for the sport that it hasn’t been given enough support through the sheer mercenary, Premier League style of the series.

          (There’s lots of things I have more measured views on but this is my absolute personal view, not me as a Racefans writer – Williams tried something and the FIA should have backed them on it)

          1. @hazelsouthwell – that’s definitely an interesting line of thought, one that will provoke discussion, no doubt. :)

            However, I’m not sure to what extent – if any – Kubica’s disability is contributing to this. If the Williams simulator is correlating to their car adequately (and we’ve not heard anything to assume otherwise), and if it were a “Kubica” issue, it’d be occurring there as well, wouldn’t it? Unless it were something physical like G-forces that cannot be effectively simulated that’s causing the discrepancy.

            In hindsight, should Kubica have run in a lower formula (instead of jumping back into the F1 pool)? Jesters will argue that he is doing exactly that in the Williams.

          2. All of which is working on the presumption that the fault lies in the hardware, or the setup, or the regulations. If the fault lies with Kubica though, then there isn’t anything the FIA could do short of giving him an outright performance advantage to rectify the situation, as it isn’t a manpower, funding or technical regulations flaw.

            I think Kubica is just past it – both impeded by his past injuries, and too long away from the sport. Even Michael Schumacher, after a much shorter time out and with no physical impairment, was unable to challenge Rosberg for most of their time together. While Williams’ continued ineptitude makes any certainty hard to obtain, the longer Russell beats him the less it looks like the team’s fault.

            His return is a great story, and the personal fortitude it’s taken to get to this point is astonishing. If he’s merely beaten every race by a great young talent, and retires at the end of the year, he’ll have done his reputation no harm. If he complains every race that his equipment isn’t the same as that young talent, though, and is moved on at the end of the year, I think he will have sadly diminished his legacy.

  3. Williams took a lot of money to give Kubica his seat. They didn’t take enough to enable the car to be developed through the season. Williams are operating on a shoestring, but it hasn’t helped matters that they’ve been paying out a lot of redundancy money to the many senior men who they’ve sacked over the winter.

    I can’t see Williams moving upwards until Frank leaves the team, but it’s become apparent he won’t go unless he’s taken out in a box. I’m sure the F1 media know much more about the problems that beset Williams, but us on this side of the screen will never get the hear the true situation – at least, not for a very long time.

    1. As a Williams fan, from the first hour I heard of F1, it pains me deeply even through the shroud of years of professional entirely other loyalties. I believe they’ll recover. Anyone who’s read Ginny’s book couldn’t think they would. But goodness it is a real mess at the time the sport has the same.

  4. I still disagree with this “racing incident” no penalty for Vet (or any driver who cuts corners) view. In my opinion a driver that takes an off-course shortcut must be penalised for it, in the distant past a driver could lose their life or wreck their car if they lost control and left the paved track, fortunately we now have safer tracks with runoff areas that are not lethal but that does not mean that drivers should be allowed to make mistakes without consequence.
    Part of the excitement of MotoGP is the consequence for making a mistake, usually it’s race ending but the least consequence is places lost, lots of places, it used to be the same for F1 but no longer.

    1. Further to above, I think a large part of the “boring F1” mindset is the loss of drama from the “get out of jail free” runoff areas and very reliable power units. In F1’s heyday it wasn’t over until the chequered flag dropped, so no matter how dominant or far ahead a car was there was always the (far from unusual) possibility that a tiny loss of concentration could have the car beached in the gravel or the engine (always in party-mode) could expire dramatically, such incidents are very rare now.

      1. @hohum The way I see it is if you cut the corner (by accident or intentionally) there should be an imaginary white line that leaves a car’s width over the racing line as you return to the track. Cross it (like Vettel did) and you get a penalty. Whether on purpose (penalty for being a cheat) or accidental (lost control of the car to be able to stay one side of the imaginary line) there should be a penalty.

    2. Vettel left the track and gained an advantage by doing so. He should have given the place up, and then tried to overtake for the win. He’d have had a good chance of managing it, given the relative pace of the cars involved, and at worst wouldn’t have finished any lower.

      I have to say, imo the Sky commentators are responsible for creating controversy over a simple decision for the stewards. Too many people treat them as authoritative rather than deliberately controversial. It was obvious as soon as the incident happened that Vettel would be penalised, and they should have known that and been asking why he wasn’t giving up the place to avoid the penalty.

      1. He didn’t gain an advantage. If you think he gained time by four wheeling through the grass, you’re crazy.

        1. And that is the problem, defining an advantage. As I’ve outlined above by going off track he didn’t flatspot his tyres, he didn’t spin through 360, and of course he didn’t smash into a tree as he might have done had he been racing 50 years ago, those suggest to me that the shortcut was advantageous. @jblank

      1. I like the article above by Alex Wurz. He explains why a penalty was given, but disagrees that it was a penalty worthy incident.

  5. After reading @dieterrencken ‘s RacingLines article about the 2021 rules, I think I may have found a solution.

    Get the while to buy 20 off Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) T.050s and use that as their base car.

  6. I expect I’ll get a lot of hate about this, but unless I am mistaken, Kubica has a significant loss of function of one arm/hand. Its amazing he performs as he does, but even by customizing his steering wheel to suit these limitations (yes, all drivers customize the steering wheel to suit themselves), I can’t help but believe these physical facts limit his fine motor skills and ability to quickly make minute adjustments and reactive adjustments of the steering.

    1. @waptraveler You may well get some hate yes.
      When he was signed up last season I only theorised on here that he might struggle due to his arm but quite a few people jumped on my posts as being negative rather than realistic.
      As I said back then, Kubica is a fine driver and one can only respect his courage and willpower to have got back into F1 after what he has been through.
      The reality is though that he has a damaged arm, is getting on for an F1 driver and has been out of F1 for many years.
      The shame is not that he can’t compete anymore, the shame is that a great and talented driver seems to be damaging his legacy for no good reason.

  7. You can see here the comparation of qualifying laps of williams drivers for the canadian gp 2019. It’s strange that Kubica’s car is loosing time on straights

    1. Notme, according to the speed trap data, Kubica recorded a maximum top speed of 326.6kph in the speed trap, only 0.2kph down on Russell – so his car doesn’t seem to have been producing significantly more drag.

      It looks more like a case of Kubica having a poor exit from the Turn 10 chicane, which meant he was slower on the first part of the straight, whereas Russell had a slightly better exit and also had a slight benefit of a slipstream over the first part of the straight (where he was behind one of the Haas cars as it returned to the pits).

      1. Haha all the comments about him being better in the corners than Russell! You can clearly see him losing a tenth in each corner to Russell. Other than early in the lap where Kubica is ahead, it is clear that Russell eats away at every corner.

  8. The speed trap data shows the top speed for all the qualifying or of the best quail run?
    Also if they are both on fresh tires, there shouldn’t be so much difference in traction?

  9. tony mansell
    13th June 2019, 10:54

    Absolute load of emperors new clothes this Formula E zero carbon eco tie in. If all the vehicles and planes and ships that move their stuff around the world were electric then maybe they’d be worth listening to. Otherwise, its just window dressing and it seems governments and the general public alike are happy to lap it up. Just like they all did with Diesel. Electric cannot be the answer, we don’t have the resources to produce the batteries to move everyone round the world via electric. its a complete dead end. the car companies don’t care, its just another way for them to flog cars. In fact they like it more because they know it isn’t the answer and we will have to rip it up and start again giving them another route to flog more new cars and destroy perfectly good older ones. Wake up.

    1. I wouldn’t consider it a “complete dead end”, mankind’s inventiveness has a habit of working the occasional miracle.
      I agree though that too many people seem to think that Electric vehicles are going to save the world.
      There is no such thing as an electric car. Electricity isn’t a natural resource, we have to make it in power stations. Your electric car is running on power generated from natural (hopefully renewable) resources and the environmental cost of a lot of so called “renewable” power generation is nightmarish.
      I fully support the drive (pun intended ;)) to create alternative fuel sources but we shouldn’t all start running out to buy an electric vehicle just yet because, as you rightly imply, if the car companies wern’t making a profit they wouldn’t be behind it.

    2. I’m with you, and by no means not because I don’t care about the environment and what we are doing globally to the planet, as I’m sure is the case for you tony mansell. Personally I think that electric vehicles are still too impractical but that all manufacturers are on the bandwagon because they politically have to be, not because there is great demand for electric vehicles. If they don’t provide electric vehicles they appear callus towards the environment which could harm their brand even if it is a very small percentage of people that want those cars.

      For me the emissions from vehicles is one thing, but is anything really ‘net zero’ when as you say the other vehicles, planes, and ships to transport everything are run on fossil fuels? But further to that, even electric vehicles need a lot of fossil fuels for the mining of materials and for the manufacturing process. Batteries need charging and most often would be recharged from fossil fuel burning sources of electricity, and only sporadically from solar panels and wind turbines. I’m sure electric motivation has it’s places, but I also doubt it is for the masses. At least not until EV’s are as practical and convenient as society has become accustomed to with ICE(s). As it is I read one pundit say that if everyone were to be switched over to electric vehicles today, recharging stations (the equivalent of gas stations) would need to be the size of shopping mall parking lots.

      There needs to be a better way, including mining and manufacturing processes. Electric has just been the next most convenient thing to fossil fuels, but far from anywhere near as convenient, sorry to say Mother Nature.

    3. You have no idea what you are talking about. We easily have the resources. Also mining of the resources does not have a huge environmental impact. It is not Zero impact but it is orders of magnitude better than oil. We all need to do our bit to reduce emissions and EVs are a huge benefit in that regard. As the Grid gets cleaner then EVs automatically become greener without modifications. They are not the only thing we need to do but they are an easy win with the added benefit of no tailpipe emissions which is great for the health of our population.

      EVs are the future regardless of whether the odd person fails to understand the science and economics.

  10. I would LOVE to see an F1 guest car, like DTM does.

  11. Re: On this day in F1: Why is Ricardo Zonta always forgotten when discussing the Wall of Champions? He was the reigning FIA GT Champ in 1999 :P

  12. @hazelsouthwell – a quick note of thanks, it’s nice to have you engaging with the community in the comments. Dieter does likewise; Keith, not sure much; Josh/Craig, never (I think?).

Comments are closed.