This year Williams appeared stronger than the previous seasons, and to confirm that were the two solid performances on the Austrian track in Spielberg.
The Red Bull Ring saw a consistent George Russell fighting seriously for the points zone for the first time, but the dream for the English driver and team did not come true. It was no secret that Williams was faster on this track, just recoding Nicholas Latifi's 11th position last year, but the performance was still amazing.
During the last GP in Austria, Russell saw, in his rear-view mirrors, Fernando Alonso take his position in the last 10 laps of the race. "It was very intense, unfortunately for only one point, but it felt like it was the last lap of the championship for us,” - Alonso said after the race - “At one point it was gold for him and for ourselves after starting 14th. It was nice."
“In a way when I saw it was George, I felt a little bit sad the battle had to be with him."
When on Sunday, after the race, he was asked if he was worried the gap to Williams would now be smaller, he said: "No, I don’t think so, I think they have made a step forward, but also we checked last year in Austria, they started 11th, so it seems to be a circuit they perform really well at."
“I think we need to wait a couple of races to see if they are fast or not. But here last weekend, they were closer to us, and this weekend, we had a little bit more margin. I’m happy with the progress in these two weeks. It is up to us to keep it going into Silverstone."
“If we can repeat this kind of performance, it will put us in top seven or top eight, and that is a step forward for sure,” he said.
Then he gave his opinion on Alpine's latest performance and targets in terms of Championship points for the Constructors’ Championship, and for the new 2022 reguations:
“The second part of the year is a wait in terms of performance for 2022. A lot of teams will put all their effort into 2022 cars, so what we get and what we see every weekend is going to be not too different in the next race," he explained.
“There are no clear targets in terms of championship points or constructors’ championship. It seems we are settled at the moment. We will fight with AlphaTauri and Aston Martin for fifth place for sure," he added.
“But I think it is more building the team structure, making fine tunes on the pit stops, on the strategy, on the tyre management, and many things that the we can to be as prepared as possible for 2022."
“On the car side, it is up to the factories to produce the best package, but here trackside, we need to optimise everything and be as close to perfection as possible,” he concluded.