George Russell, Williams, Silverstone, 2020

Williams expect to compete for points “on merit” soon

2020 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

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Williams expects its drivers will be able to compete for points “on merit” in the near future thanks to the progress it has made with its car.

After the first five races, Williams remain the only team yet to score a point. Nicholas Latifi’s 11th place in the Austrian Grand Prix is their best finish to date.

Williams scored a single point during its troubled 2019 campaign, when Robert Kubica was promoted to 10th place in Germany after both Alfa Romeo drivers were penalised.

The team’s head of vehicle performance Dave Robson believes the gains it has made since then will put them in contention for top 10 finishes this year.

“It’s nice that we’re racing, we’re close to at least a couple of teams,” he said. “I think the next gaggle of cars ahead of us and the Haas are all quite close to one another. They’re that little bit far away at the moment.

“But if we can close that gap, then there are potentially points to be had purely on merit rather than at the moment relying on a lot of other people’s misfortune.”

Robson described how the team has reorganised the development programme for its car due to F1’s revised and condensed 2020 race schedule, and taken advantage of the unique opportunity offered by ‘double-header’ rounds.

“The development of the car is going quite well,” he said. “There’s quite a lot in the pipeline.

“Most of what we’ve brought over the last few events say is generally working as we’d expected which is a really good sign, hopefully one that is quite different to 12 months ago.

“Fitting that development within the intense race programme is difficult because a lot of manufacturing is dedicated just to supply bits to keep us going.

“The back-to-back races we’ve had are actually quite useful opportunity, here [Silverstone] and in Austria, to kind of get some clear data and test some new things that you wouldn’t normally have a chance to. Obviously, all the teams have that opportunity, but actually that has helped us early in the season, having those two opportunities.

“So although racing has been quite intense in terms of the frequency of the races. I think actually the testing has worked quite well within that.”

“Hopefully the homework we’ve done the last couple of months will now pay off and come to fruition in the coming races,” Robson added. “But we can combine them, combine the two, racing part and developing the car. I think this car it’s quite good. It is better than last year’s. We’ve got something to work with.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Josh Holland
USA-based Josh joined the RaceFans team in 2018. Josh helps produce our Formula 1 race weekend coverage, assists with our social media activities and...

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9 comments on “Williams expect to compete for points “on merit” soon”

  1. They’re doing pretty well, it would be a surprise if they don’t score at some point considering they’re faster than Alfa and perhaps Haas, in qualifying at least. Russell perhaps would have scored in Austria, Latifi had a chance in Hungary, just not in luck so far.

    1. @tflb I don’t think Latifi would’ve really had a chance in Hungary even without the puncture.

      1. @jerejj Yes he would… He would have been in the top ten after the first pit stops, and given how Magnussen did in a slower car and the difficulty of passing, I wouldn’t have given it as a certainty he’d have dropped out of the top 10.

  2. George Russell’s 12th place in the British Grand Prix is their best finish to date.

    Latifi actually achieved their best finish with 11th in Austria.

  3. Williams will compete on merit for points when they have two drivers capable of competing on merit for points – they are half-way there at least. And running Nissany in FP1 at the cost of their one good driver does not bode well for the future.

  4. They are still slow but at least they aren’t embarrassingly slow. Hope the upward trend continues, would love to see Williams contending for points regularly again.

  5. Anyone else concerned that the competitiveness is down to the terrible Ferrari engine versus any improvement by Williams? They are still woefully behind the next Merc powered car.

    1. What, a Mercedes and a Mercedes copy? lol

  6. Strange how no one gives Claire Williams any credit for the upturn. The last couple of years people have been demanding she be sacked, gone very quiet since they are getting better.
    Anyway, well done to the whole Williams team, still a way to go but making good progress with a very small budget.

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