George Russell, Williams, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Williams believes “points are on the way” after first Q2 appearance since 2018

2020 F1 season

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George Russell’s performance in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix has inspired deputy team principal Claire Williams, who believes the team can soon score its first points for almost 12 months.

Williams has finished the last two seasons at the bottom of the championship table, scored a single point throughout 2019, and offered its team for sale two months ago to bring new investment.

On Saturday Russell took the team into Q2 for the first time since the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix. He came within a tenth of a second of reaching Q3, and has been promoted from 12th to 11th on the grid by Charles Leclerc’s penalty.

“I think [our] hopes have got to be points,” said Williams after qualifying. “I don’t think I would have thought I’d be saying that in race two this year.

“We wanted to make progress. I think that everybody’s efforts at Williams, whether it be track-side or at the factory, have really come together over the past weeks and months and certainly over the past 12 months. And we have demonstrated an uptick.

“Even just the work that’s been going on behind the scenes between these two Austrian races, it’s been really quite impressive. We’ve managed to resolve a lot of the issues that we found in ‘Austria one’ that now are on the car and bringing more performance.

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“So points would be wonderful. But I think let’s just take each race as it comes. I know they’re coming. I know those points are on their way to us and it will be an incredibly happy day when they arrive.”

Jack Aitken, Williams, Red Bull Ring, 2020
Williams made cooling improves to its FW43
The team’s head of vehicle performance Dave Robson said Williams have improved the cooling package on the FW43 since the first race. This, combined with forecast lower temperatures in today’s race, should mean they can run the car more aggressively in the Styrian Grand Prix.

“We had some clear issues on Sunday last week, not helped by the fairly warm conditions,” he said. “So we were managing the car more than we would like to do.

“But with the help of the factory we’ve made a few changes to the car this week. In those warm conditions in P2 there were very good signs that we’d fix the problems we were suffering with on Sunday. So I’m hopeful we can race much harder from start to finish.

“I think we’re slowly starting to understand the car better relative to our main competitors and I think we’ll see a good step forward by us [in the race]. Obviously that that’s kind of insignificant if everyone else makes similar steps. So we’ll what they’ve been up to for the last six or seven days. But yes, I’m confident we will do a better job.”

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2020 F1 season

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9 comments on “Williams believes “points are on the way” after first Q2 appearance since 2018”

  1. This is bad news for Haas !!

  2. As much as I hope that they do get points I think it’s unlikely, they still have ferrari and racing points behind them. Their only hope is retirements up front. It does look like they are above Sauber and Haas at this point. Sauber was wrong to cancel the works deal with Honda.

    1. I agree. I’m v happy for George & Williams, but points are v unlikely without some DNFs higher up the grid. But as last wk showed, it’s possible here in Austria

    2. Sauber?

    3. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      12th July 2020, 13:46

      Exactly what I was thinking as well. The only chance is retirements which is totally possible today. It would be absolutely beautiful to see them fighting legitimately for points but I think they’re still a ways off but who am I ?

  3. In those warm conditions in P2 there were very good signs that we’d fix the problems we were suffering with on Sunday.

    This is one of the benefits of holding two races at the same venue, in that it gives every team the opportunity to make minor changes to their car knowing they have will be able to compare the new setup compared to the old on the same track and arguably in a similar environment.
    I think this race is going to be very interesting.

  4. Williams right now can’t fight for points on merit only. But they proved that they can fight the Haas and Alfas in race pace (at least with Russell).

    They still need some problems and retirements of others to get there, but it’s easier to get there when the natural position is P15 instead of P19.

  5. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    12th July 2020, 12:59

    I think they’ve got to hope for points but the possibility is still on the slim side, that car doesn’t look quick enough to get into the top 10 on merit. But there’s certainly a chance. It’d be a big boost for the team to grab even 10th at the moment so I rather hope they do. Also I’m quite fond of that livery.

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      12th July 2020, 13:50

      It would be so sweet to get 10th but George would have to drive the race of a lifetime to do it without retirements and SC at the moment I would think. I don’t have a favourite driver as I only wish for 10/10 races but if there was ever a team to cheer for, how could someone not for Williams?

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