George Russell has played down expectations of a significant improvement by Williams in 2020 following its poor campaign last year.
“No doubt we’re in a better position,” he said, “[but] I think realistically we are still the slowest car. I’m not going to get carried away with ourselves, but we’ve definitely reduced the gap.
“So that’s all we could have hoped for over the winter and we’ll go to Melbourne and see. But like I said, don’t expect to see us in Q2, Q3 sort of thing. We’ve definitely improved but expectations are all under control.”
The team’s 2019 chassis was often a second off the pace of the next-slowest car. Russell hopes this year’s car is at least quick enough for them to take advantage of problems for other teams.
“Last year when we out-performed our car we were still qualifying 19th and finishing 19th,” he said. “So I hope this year when people slip up and we perform well, that’s when we can take opportunities and we should be racing.
[smr2020test]”But like I say, expectations are under control. Doing it in Barcelona when the test is one thing, going to Melbourne will be a completely different story.”
Williams faces a rebuilding period similar to that McLaren has recently been through, Russell believes.
“As Williams, we want to progress much further up the grid. Their goals aren’t just to be fine at the back, it’s over the next few years to be really making some big strides. Hopefully this is a turning point but it’s a long road. I think McLaren are the best example of that, how long it took them to recover and look where they are now.
“So like I say, it’s better to under-promise and over-deliver. But from my side and everybody at Williams, we’re just going to go to Melbourne to try to get everything out of that car.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2020 F1 season
- Pictures: Wrecked chassis from Grosjean’s Bahrain fireball crash to go on display
- Bottas vs Rosberg: Hamilton’s Mercedes team mates compared after 78 races each
- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers
11 comments on “Don’t expect to see Williams in Q2, we’re still slowest – Russell”
10th March 2020, 8:24
Well, I suppose that’s to be expected and at least they and we know what to expect. And if they do manage to beat others, now they can celebrate ;)
10th March 2020, 8:24
Not sure why (though based a bit in testing), but I think he is underplaying this.
Some of their lower mid-field competition (Racing Point, Alpha Tauri) might have moved up a bit, and McLaren, Renault were always ahead, but I can see them fight regularly with Haas and Alfa Romeo. Or at least I hope they can.
10th March 2020, 15:29
That was what I read from testing as well. the gap from the misdfiels to ferrari is shorter and the gap from willams to the next quickest is also shorter. I would still put williams a good .5 from the next best.
10th March 2020, 8:28
Good to see that internally they seem not to expect / hope for too much. If they are at least in a real fight for where they get on the grid, and in the race, with the cars around them, that would already be a hugely needed step forward
10th March 2020, 10:43
I feel that Russell is a very level-headed bloke, and maybe spending these years in Williams as a backmarker gives him some experience which others that were promoted to the top right away lack. Then again I hope he gets lucky in the future and gets a better car.
10th March 2020, 14:30
I hope George gets another run out in the Mercedes like he did last year. That will be his only opportunity to show how he fares in a front running car. Running around at the back and having to move over when the fast cars come past can’t do him a lot of good in the long term. He can’t get into a rhythm and has to keep looking over his shoulder. Even if he does get into a battle with another car, it could well be with the unpredictable Haas clowns.
Alec Glen (@alec-glen)
10th March 2020, 16:22
George has definitely got the Merc handbook on handling preseason expectations.
10th March 2020, 22:15
Ahah, good one.
10th March 2020, 16:52
I expect George at least once in Q2 this season. The car is much better now and he was very close achieving it in Hungary last year. Fingers crossed.
10th March 2020, 19:45
“ I think McLaren are the best example of that, how long it took them to recover and look where they are now.“
… the midfield with the worst team principle in the sport? Some lofty goals you got there..
NS Biker (@rekibsn)
11th March 2020, 1:06
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”
Somehow, I doubt that Sir Frank, in he hay-day, would have been as accepting of the idea of doing better and being closer, but likely still last.
One of the 10 teams will be last, just hoping it isn’t Williams and that whoever it is, has a lot more than one point.
Comments are closed.