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F1 | Mexico GP | Robson, head of vehicle performance at Williams, on why Latifi was slower than Russell in qualifying, and on whether altitude will be problem for reliability

Dave Robson said that Latifi was "struggling a bit to get the most out of the tyres", and that Williams "prepared the car well yesterday for the Grand Prix".

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F1 | Mexico GP | Robson, head of vehicle performance at Williams, on why Latifi was slower than Russell in qualifying, and on whether altitude will be problem for reliability
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - Motorlat

George Russell managed to conquer the thirteenth position in qualifying yesterday, but due to the penalty he has to serve, after the replacement of the gearbox, he will start from the sixteenth place, but he will be favored by the retreat of Norris and Tsunoda, in the ninth row, both for mounting a new power unit.

Latifi also takes advantage of all these penalties, making a leap of four spots, from the seventeenth place obtained on the track to thirteenth.

Williams was under the spotlight during qualifying for an episode that occurred after Lance Stroll’s heavy crash in Q1, when, leaving pitlane as the session resumed, two Haas stopped in front of the pits of the English team and were forced to pull alongside them.

The stewards opted to investigate this matter, citing the fact that both Williams drivers "did not leave the pit lane in the correct order [at the restart] compared to the other cars that were already in the fast lane."

The two drivers were confused by the call they recieved immediately after qualifying, but the investigation, ultimately, failed.

In a report of the FIA, there’s the reason of the investigation: "When the session restarted, cars 6 and 63 left the pit lane in front of the cars that had already formed in the fast lane."

Dave Robson, Williams’ head of vehicle performance, commented on the issue during a meeting with Motorlat and other selected media.

“It was subsequently discussed by the team managers and there isn’t really anything else you could do,” - Robson said - “Hence why we’re a little bit baffled that we have to go and see the stewards.”

“The rules are that you have to leave the pitlane in the order that you got there, I’m not entirely sure why it’s such an issue, he added.

“Obviously when there’s a queue in the fast lane, they’re blocking our way and it’s a bit awkward to get out.

“But I think what we did was the best we could do and the safe and correct thing to do.”

He also commented on the power unit change on Russell’s car:

“Following a post-session inspection, we opted to change George’s power unit after FP3 as a precaution,

"The mechanics did an outstanding job to get the car ready for the start of Qualifying, and as we fitted a power unit from the existing race pool, there will be no penalty for this change."

Then he explained why Latifi was slower than Russell in Q1:

After the red flag in Q1, we completed two runs with each car, with George able to progress to Q2, but Nicholas, struggling a bit more to get the most out of the tyres, was unable to progress.

“He will however benefit from several back-of-grid penalties for cars that qualified ahead of him. George will also benefit but will serve his own five-place penalty for fitting a new gearbox overnight.

“The tough conditions here in Mexico will make the race tomorrow difficult for everyone and we believe that, despite losing track time in the afternoon, we prepared the car well yesterday for the Grand Prix.

“We will find out tomorrow if we did a good enough job, but we are hopeful of making progress,”
 he added.

also commented on whether the altitude of the Mexican circuit could affect Williams’ engine reliability:
“It’s not a concern at the moment,” – he said -I don’t think the altitude will be a big problem for reliability. It will be fine – currently there are no worries.”

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