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

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
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021