Williams Racing and the rest of the team’s endured a tough Friday at the Instanbul Park circuit ahead of Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix and speaking following the action, Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson said:
Today was a difficult day throughout, with the tyres really struggling to generate temperature on the new track surface. This caused a few issues this morning and prevented us from doing any useful testing. The programme was adapted to allow us to learn what we could, but it was still a very difficult session.
We made some changes to the car for FP2 to try and improve the tyre performance and this, along with the natural track improvement, was a good step forwards from the morning. Nonetheless, it remained very difficult with both drivers spinning on high fuel as they looked for the limit at this tricky circuit.
Exactly how the track and the weather will behave tomorrow is still a bit uncertain and so we will need to remain agile tomorrow. We will study the data collected today to give us a menu of options to try tomorrow. With George likely to start from the back of the grid on Sunday then his priorities for tomorrow are a little different to Nicholas, but overall, we will probably still be concentrating on maximising tyre performance.
George Russell commented saying:
It was incredible, I have never ever experienced anything like this in a race car. I hope the track rubbers in a bit tomorrow, gets faster and more grippy because it was not fun out there. It is going to be a massive window of opportunity for everybody this weekend if you get it right though. We struggled to get the tyres switched on in FP1, but we got them working in FP2, and from then the car was feeling great and our long high fuel pace was really strong.
It is a shame we will be starting at the back, but there is optimism because there will potentially be big gaps between cars. Because of our strong Saturday performances, we’ve then been battling with faster cars behind us on Sundays, so I am excited to be the one attacking now and see what we can do in the race.
Nicholas Latifi commented saying:
It was very tricky out there with very unique track conditions. I have always wondered what it is like to drive a Formula One car on ice, and I didn’t have to go to Finland to find that out! Overall, it was a pretty fun day, there was not a lap that didn’t feel like you had to constantly work.
In terms of car set-up and the direction, you have to take everything with a pinch of salt as the track is going to keep improving. We have already seen the improvements that we have made between FP1 and FP2 and that is going to continue as the track is going to keep rubbering in. We have our work cut out to see how we manage and balance that and how much we react to what we felt today versus what we anticipate.
We possibly may get some rain tomorrow which could mix things up a bit. I don’t know if that will be a good or bad thing as it may clear the rubber off, but it also may help extract the oil from the tarmac. Nonetheless I think it will be a very exciting Saturday and Sunday.