Alexander Albon, Williams, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Williams poised to rebound from “slow start to the season” – Vowles

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In the round-up: Williams team principal James Vowles says they are poised to make strides in the coming races after their double retirement in Canada.

In brief

Vowles takes “solace” after double retirement

Vowles admitted it was “painful” to see rivals Alpine take three points after his drivers Logan Sargeant and Alexander Albon retired in crashes, the latter after being hit by Carlos Sainz Jnr. However he said he takes “solace” from the team’s performance across a variety of tracks.

“We’ve been to Monaco, which is the track with the highest level of downforce that needs a strong balance and we were competitive,” he said in a video published by the team. “We’ve now gone to a track where actually it’s the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the downforce comes off the car, and yet we’re competitive and [ran] in the points.”

He expects the team to make gains from further upgrades they will introduce over the coming rounds. “We have performance coming across the next few races that will start adding up and allow us to move forward relative to field. It’s been a slow start to the season, but there’s every reason to be positive about the remainder of the season in front of us.”

Power considered retirement when wife fell ill

Will Power admitted he considered retiring from racing when his wife Liz fell seriously ill last year. She has since recovered and last weekend Power scored his first victory since he won the IndyCar championship for the second time two years ago.

“When that was going on, you start thinking should I be racing at all,” he said. “If something happens to Liz and something happens to me, is she going to get better, what’s going to happen? The doctor said this can come back at any time. Should I be racing? That was the thing that was planted in my mind last year.

“You certainly don’t perform at your highest level because you don’t want your son to have no parents. That is sort of the thing you’re thinking. [It was] tough wrestling with that. Ultimately, if she wasn’t getting better, I would stop. I would have to stop for my son. Simple as that.”

Power believes he’s “a better driver again this year than I was in ’22 when I won the championship.”

“Last year was sort of a stall-out,” he continued. “Not much I could do. Spending a lot of time at home, looking after Liz, making sure everything was going well for her. She is a big part of my preparation. She does a lot for me. We’re back as a team again.”

Sauber boosts technical division by hiring Sordo

Sauber, the only team yet to score a point this year, has hired Stefano Sordo to the new role of performance director. Sordo, who was previously technical director at IndyCar team RLL, will report to Sauber’s technical director James Key.

Sauber Group CEO Andreas Seidl said Sordo “knows what a winning squad needs, brings a wealth of experience to the team and, with the different array of roles he played in the past, he is perfectly placed to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of our technical operations, and address what is required.

“We have a strong technical team in Hinwil and Stefano’s appointment will help us to harness these skills and turn them into performance as we continue in this crucial time for our outfit, with the Audi F1 works team being readied for its debut.”

Canadian GP track invasion lands promoter in trouble

The promoter of the Canadian Grand Prix, Octane Racing Group, has accepted blame after a “large group of spectators” broke onto the track while cars were still circulating at the end of Sunday’s race.

The promoter “agreed that this was an unacceptable situation” said the stewards. It has agreed to “present a formal remediation plan to the FIA” addressing the security lapse by the end of September.

“The stewards reinforce the fact that the paramount goal needs to be to prevent the reoccurrence of such an incident and make it clear that a significant financial penalty will be imposed in case of any reoccurrence,” they added.

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Comment of the day

Not everyone is convinced by Lando Norris’ claim McLaren’s failure to pit him immediately during the first Safety Car period on Sunday cost him a chance to win.

The right pit call would have increased his chances to win but I still don’t find it likely.

The speed of Verstappen and Russell in the dry was making it more likely that a leading Norris would have been overtaken before the checkered flag. In the dry the McLaren didn’t seem quick enough for the win.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Bazza and John Harvey!

Author information

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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13 comments on “Williams poised to rebound from “slow start to the season” – Vowles”

  1. I’ve never heard of Stefano Sordo.

    While I fully understand FIA always taking premature track invasion matters seriously, this doesn’t change the fact it only happened once the race was officially over & thus, all remaining drivers were circulating slowly, meaning minimized risk versus if they’d still been driving at racing speeds, just like in Melbourne, for example.

    Keith’s tweet has a good pattern.

    1. Sordo worked at McLaren at the same time as Seidl. And a atleast a decade or more in others teams before that

      1. I eventually found out, but he’s just one of those many long-time individuals who’ve managed to stay out of spotlights enough for me not to have heard of them before despite having been watching & following F1 for 20 years.

        1. Good grief!

  2. The demonstrators, who were charged with obstructing traffic, blocked several lanes on the Concorde Bridge for nearly half an hour

    In Melbourne protesters using this tactic earlier in the year were thankfully jailed for 6 months. This kind of protesting is not okay, flow of traffic is crucial for emergency services.
    This kind of activism really does nothing. Raising awareness is pointless, everyone is already aware.
    People should be getting involved in politics if they really want to instigate change, even at the smallest local level you can have a greater impact than stopping traffic.

    1. An Sionnach
      12th June 2024, 0:57

      Good. Obstructing traffic is an act of aggression against the rest of the public. As you say, there are more effective ways to do what they want to do, but, I would suggest narcissism and an allergy to hard work is a large part of the reason why the lower profile, less exciting ways are not embraced. We’re developing green technologies as we go. Anyone who sees the transition as a cliff edge is playing into the hands of Russia and China and handing them a strategic advantage. It’s not unlike those who advocate for unilateral nuclear disarmament. It sounds nice until you get nuked.

  3. As the UK general election approaches, the ruling Conservative Party have chosen to launch their manifesto at Silverstone today.

    I wonder what benefit the BRDC saw in being associated with a corrupt, out-of-touch bunch of losers whose best days are well behind them.

  4. I think Williams is going to get Sainz. And, I mean, he’s obligated to sign now after taking out Alex. ; )

    1. Alternatively, they mightn’t want him anymore after causing them to lose a points chance, but most likely zero impact.

      1. There’s zero chance that’s impacted their outlook IMO, but you only put the odds at 1% by the sounds of it anyway. lol About the same odds I’d put on it actually shifting the dial for him.

        BTW, am I the only one who thinks Sauber Audi looks like a much more depressing destination than Williams? I don’t buy the “well, Audi will be a factory team!” when they’re facing CapEx and chose to limit how quickly they can improve the facilities by not investing before the name changes, they’re based in Switzerland which makes it harder to attract top engineers and just the whole culture and state of the team right now.

        1. Sauber doesn’t really exist, just like Williams doesn’t really exist, they are both shell corps for tax write offs no doubt. And because competition is forbidden in F1, they will not be allowed to lose, they will be strung along to follow orders and keep up appearances.

          1. Cool story, bro.

  5. The last time Montreal had a track invasion of 1995 when Alesi won in the #27 Ferrari. Spectators ran onto the track as the cars crossed the finish line. I was one of them running to the podium with my Ferrari flag as we sat at the Senna bend (2nd curve). The promoter/organizer at the time was heavily criticized by FIA and the following year, the organizer hired all these big guys guarding the fence the whole race, making sure no spectators would do anything silly; taking into consideration that was Jacques Villeneuve’s first F1 race in front of the home crowd.

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