Williams: Beating Haas, Alfa "realistic" target in Mexico

Williams believes its Formula 1 race pace is on par and could even be better than Haas and Alfa Romeo, labelling the teams “realistic” targets for the Mexican Grand Prix.

Williams: Beating Haas, Alfa "realistic" target in Mexico
Listen to this article

George Russell qualified 0.224s behind Haas’ Romain Grosjean in Mexico, but both Russell and senior race engineer Dave Robson reckon Haas and Alfa Romeo are within its sights in Sunday's race. 

Asked by Motorsport.com if the two teams are an achievable target for Williams even if they don’t suffer issues in Sunday’s race, Russell said: “Absolutely. We’ve seen it on many occasions where we’ve had the same if not better pace than Haas in the race pace, Austria, Monza, a couple of other races. 

“So I think, definitely [it's possible]. We’ll just have to wait and see, it’s an incredibly tricky circuit, very easy to lock up tyres, if you lock up it’s game over. Very easy to grain the tyres, once again, if you do that it’s game over, so there will be some management needed, it will be a patience game I reckon.”

Read Also:

Robson said in his post-qualifying team briefing that the Haas and Alfa Romeo cars were “realistic opponents”.

He added: “I think race pace on Friday was certainly better than our low-fuel pace. “We think we were close, even a bit quicker than the Haas. I think the tyres will be better for us once we’ve got consecutive laps on them. 

“I think we’re looking forward to a reasonable race by the standards of the season. I think they [Haas and Alfa Romeo] will have improved things since P2. We’ve been able to get reasonably close in some races, so I think there is a chance, that’s certainly what we’ll go into tomorrow believing and then we’ll see how it goes from there.”

Kubica was 0.356s slower than Russell in qualifying, but Robson believes the Polish driver will be closer to his team-mate in the race.

“I think it’s tyres mainly,” added Robson for the reason Kubica struggled in qualifying. "Putting the fuel load in and doing consecutive laps will improve that. He was a little bit slower than George I think in P2 on high fuel, but not the gap we saw today [in qualifying] so hopefully he’ll be able to fight up there as well.”

Qualifying in Mexico was the first time the two Williams cars have utilised the team's new front wing, but Robson and Russell confirmed it was not a major part of the team's more competitive performance at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

"The recent upgrades are definitely a step in the right direction," said Russell. "But on paper they are not meant to bring a huge amount of performance here and now, it’s supposed to unlock more performance into next year." 

Robson added: "Obviously [the new wing is not] not Mexico specific, but I think that probably was a benefit, I think we’ll see more from it in the States next week."

shares
comments
Brawn: Reverse grid plan rejection shows F1's "classic problem"
Previous article

Brawn: Reverse grid plan rejection shows F1's "classic problem"

Next article

Pirelli working to improve "misleading" TV tyre graphics

Pirelli working to improve "misleading" TV tyre graphics
Load comments
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022