It was an impressive Saturday for Williams, as George Russell qualified P11 for tomorrow's Styrian GP, but will start in P10 for the first time with the British team, after Tsunoda's three place grid penalty and keeping up the good form showed in France, as Nicholas Latifi barely missed out on Q2.
Dave Robson said on Russell's run for Q3 that he's done his best, and that he couldn't have taken more out of the car, only 0.008 seconds off the tenth place:
"I think it was quite the maximum, I'm sure that there was that little bit more in there, there always is. It's close, but that's the nature of our field, it's competitive, and the lap time delta is always very small," said Robson after qualifying with selected media, including MotorLat.com.
"But we're happy, happy with P11, and in a good position for tomorrow, I think."
Williams's French GP ended with a P12 in a race with no retirements, and the FW43B has been consistently good in Austria too. Robson is pleased with the progress seen so far, and believes that the team can keep showing it:
"It's probably still a little bit too early to tell. We put some new parts on a car in Baku, and on both in France, and the race pace was good."
"We had expected to be OK here, and so far, yesterday, the pace was good. I hope it'll turn out to be a new era, we're genuinely happy to be taking step forwards."
He added that lately Williams has been focusing more on trying race pace in the practice sessions, and that the results have been "very encouraging", and hopes that Russell will manage to hold onto his starting position tomorrow:
"The pace in itself was good, and so was the lap time, the feedback on the state of the tyres and the balance of the car too. We're in a really good shape, hopefully tomorrow it stays dry, but we'll see."
"In terms of an overall approach, we haven't changed much, to be honest. We have always been conscious that the points one day would be scored, we've always been focused in that direction."
"Last weekend was good, I think; we think it'll be good tomorrow, the car is set up in a way that should work quite well tomorrow."
An important topic was Russell's starting issues last race. Robson said that it's part of the game, adding that wind sensitivity issues might have influenced it:
"Normally, the race starts are fairly even between the drivers, sometimes Nicky is a little bit better, sometimes George is a little bit better. Last weekend, George was good immediately off the line, but he got on the throttle a little bit earlier, aggressively, and spun the wheels up, so he struggled a bit."
"I don't think he's [doing something wrong], he doesn't tend to be involved in many incidents or crashes in the first laps, so you can argue he acts a little bit on the conservative side, but then, you see, it's beneficial, like in France: actually, by keeping out of trouble he had a really good race, you can't really criticise that."
Focus was later on the tyres, with the new regulations and a track as demanding as Silverstone approaching, with the added pressure of the sprint qualifying:
"We still know little about those tyres, but we won't change our plan. We can use Roy [Nissany, test driver] to do early investigations, and George will use them in FP2, to help him catch up with the session he has lost. It's a bit of an unusual situation, not ideal, not easy, but it is what we need to do."
Robson praised Russell's improvement, especially on tyre management, highlighting his high fuel sessions in FP2: "On Friday he was strong, he did a very good job. He's continuing to learn."