After the Qualifying of the Russian Grand Prix, MotorLAT and other selected media talked with Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson on the result they hope to get in the race, George Russell’s third place in Qualifying and the potential of Nicholas Latifi’s single-seater.
Williams tried a different approach from the rest of the grid with Russell, as they decided to put on the slicks just when the track was drying, almost late minute. It has been an aggressive approach, quite risky, but it paid off.
“Pretty much, - Robson says – we were quite happy to use those tyres, we wanted to get to Q2 as far as we could to. We were seeing how the conditions were and we didn’t get quite right in the beginning but we had enough pace to get through to Q3. We were conscious that we were pretty close to the crossover. We wanted to understand the conditions to adapt them to the slicks and they were, so we went on to see what’s left.”
Nicholas Latifi was doing a great job too, as he looked quite quick in the weekend. He has to start the race from the back of the grid though, as he had to change his power unit. MotorLAT asked Robson where does he think their driver could have been if it wasn’t for the penalty required by the regulations for this change.
“Yeah, he was great all weekend, - he confirmed – he was doing well in Q1, he was surprised by how good the car was straight from the garage.”
“His pace was exceptional, - he continued – he was as good as George and he definitely could have been in the same place but he has to start from the back of the grid. He could have been right up, in the top-5 if he was quite comfortable on the slicks as George was. He was really quick.”
Williams seems to be living a good moment right now, so it would be interesting to know how the team intend to continue on this way.
The slicks are on 👀— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) September 25, 2021
LET’S DO THIS 💪 pic.twitter.com/hynNWGzG50
“Williams is really living a good momentum and making some good decisions definitely helps you continuing making good decisions. The car is not too bad, it still has not the pace we want on the dry but we are improving from the last two years.I feel, though, each event has been different from the other, so it is not just a momentum, it’s not just a fluke. All decisions have to be a bit different.”
“I feel quite happy to admit that we made that decision at the moment to get to Q3, because we had nothing to lose,” – he stated.
"Just look at those who had to qualify among the top three or five: they had a lot to lose, and they got it wrong. Slicks could have been the wrong call and it was a bit tense for the top three to make that call. We were quite happy to be able to take that decision, analysing the lines and go on with it: our people analysed well and they did a great job. From this position we can aim to a great result.”