The Williams team racked up 23 points so far in the 2021 F1 season, their best since 2017, and there are still seven races where they can add to that very impressive – if you consider how the last 3 seasons went - tally of points.
Speaking after qualifying for the Russian GP, in which George Russell yet again delivered an astonishing performance to qualify his Williams’ car on the second row, ahead of both of the factory Mercedes cars, Robson was quick to praise the team:
"Morale is good, that momentum is definitely there, and throughout the team both at the track and back at the factory, everyone feels good about those kinds of results, and particularly when there’s a string of them, it shows that we’re making progress, and everyone’s feeling pretty happy about it."
Asked about Max Verstappen's claim that they run 'more downforce' in order to get those good qualifying results in Spa and Sochi, Robson was adamant that’s not the case:
"If [the car] was really bad, we wouldn’t be able to get those results, but we haven’t added any [extra] wing to the car, that is our best dry car performance.
"I think what we do a good job of is getting on the right bit of the track at the right time, generally, bit of an exception in George’s case in Q1 today, and we do seem to be able to find some good grip from those intermediate tires, in those conditions, and in this case the slicks as well in the end, but I think that was all about just getting on to them early enough.
"The car has some strengths, for sure, and certainly compared to last year’s car, it does have some strengths, it’s not terrible."
Robson pointed out that there’s not much pressure in the team, which allows them to take bolder decisions and not have to worry too much about it, but admits that won’t last long:
"Once we get into Q3 in those circumstances, we don’t have a lot to lose. The teams that I expect to be in the top three, four or five, they have a lot to lose because if we got that wrong and the slick had been the wrong call, there isn’t time to put the inter back on and get a meaningful lap. So we’d have been tenth. It’s much more difficult for the top teams to take that chance.
"I’m still conscious of the fact that the quicker the car gets – and hopefully we’ll see a big step next year in the relative pace of the car – the pressure will still ramp up a lot.
"We’re still in a position at the moment where we’ve got a lot to win and not a huge amount to lose which does take a little bit of the pressure off. It’ll be a different a different ball game for a lot of people in the race team who don’t have huge amounts of experience of operating a quick car. It will be a different kind of pressure."