The last team of the peloton had strong race in Austria. Despite the results, the Williams drivers managed to impose the fight with stronger teams and showed a few bold overtaking.
However, the race weekend in Austria didn’t start as well as it ended for the team. In qualifying, Williams drivers couldn’t show a good result again, finishing the session in last places. Moreover, due to blocking of Daniil Kvyat in Q1 Russell was penalized by 3 positions on the starting grid. Then the mechanics found some damage to George's front wing, and he had to move to the pit lane, where he started in the Sunday race from. Robert was lucky a little more: due to numerous penalties of the rivals, he moved to P17 on the grid.
Despite the start from the pit lane, George drove very well and was able to race with the Haas and Toro Rosso cars at the beginning of the race. Robert meanwhile had a strong start and opening corners, gaining several places. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hold on to them beyond lap one.
During the race, George was able to stay close to Daniil Kvyat. The Williams pit crew made a much better pitstop for Russell, than Toro Rosso for Kvyat, so George could overtake him. Unfortunately, once Kvyat had the track position, he was able to pull away and George’s race became one of defending against Magnussen.
Anyway, Russell himself is pretty happy about his race:
"I managed to fight the Toro Rosso’s and the Haas at the beginning, hold them up for a bit and I managed to hold off Magnussen in the closing stages", - George said.
"Those opening laps were good. I managed to take Robert and Daniil Kvyat at once, which was surprising and nice."
For Robert, the race wasn’t the best way. He lacked the pace and grip by every lap. Also, his tires slid a lot in those hot conditions. However, according to the official data, Kubica was the third driver by the highest speed in the Austrian race, only losing to Vettel and Sainz - 321.4 km/h. Although the drivers of their engine supplier were much slower.
Despite the difficult and unsuccessful race with the P20 on the finish, Robert Kubica unpredictably was named Driver of the Day – Williams driver scored the largest number of votes. The representative of FOM informed that the votes had technical failure and they have started an investigation. On Tuesday, FOM has announced the revised results of the voting. It wasn't surprising that Max Verstappen became the winner with a large margin – 74%. By the way, for the Dutchman the victory in this nomination was the second in the season after the Spanish Grand Prix.
However, despite the defeat, the Pole may be waiting for another one, much more serious.
At the moment, Robert Kubica's future at Williams is under threat. According to the Nextgen-Auto, Robert’s personal sponsor PKN Orlen paid Williams only for a half of the season. The oil company is ready to finance his participation in the second half of the championship. However, according to a source in Williams, the team won’t necessarily agree to continue cooperation.
Mercedes can take advantage of this opportunity and move to the Kubica’s place his reserve driver Esteban Ocon. According to rumors, the 22-year-old Frenchman can return to the championship after the summer break, at the Belgian Grand Prix.
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