Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
4 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
20 days
09 May
Next event in
23 days
23 May
Race in
41 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
55 days
13 Jun
Race in
62 days
27 Jun
Race in
76 days
04 Jul
Next event in
79 days
18 Jul
Race in
97 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
111 days
29 Aug
Race in
139 days
05 Sep
Race in
146 days
26 Sep
Race in
167 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
170 days
10 Oct
Race in
181 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
195 days
31 Oct
Race in
202 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
223 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
244 days

Williams "hopeful" of fighting Ferrari in race

Williams is hopeful it can fight the beleaguered Ferrari squad during Formula 1's 2020 Belgian Grand Prix after George Russell finished just behind Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel in qualifying.

Williams "hopeful" of fighting Ferrari in race

The team's head of vehicle performance, Dave Robson, said Williams was encouraged after Ferrari appeared to show poor form during the long runs in FP2.

Ferrari had both of its cars knocked out in Q2 for the first time in 2020 during qualifying at Spa on Saturday, while Russell reached the middle segment of qualifying for a fifth time this season, ending up 0.207s behind Vettel in P15.

The Italian team was calculated to have the slowest average on the medium tyre long runs in FP2, two places and 0.22s per lap slower than Williams (although Ferrari was 0.324s faster on the un-favoured softs when it comes to race rubber).

Read Also:

"Certainly coming here we definitely didn't expect to be fighting with Ferrari," Robson said when asked by Motorsport.com if Williams had thought it would be fighting the Scuderia in qualifying and if it now felt it could fight the team in the race at Spa.

"It did look like they were struggling a bit yesterday, but even so I think yes we were a bit surprised. As for fighting them tomorrow, I'm hopeful, actually.

"Why not? They didn't look particularly special on high fuel on Friday. So hopefully we can stay with them and battle with them.

"[I] don't think their end of straight speed is particularly brilliant either – a bit like ours. We'll definitely be trying."

Russell celebrated the news he had made it through to Q2 while exclaiming "I was not expecting that - especially after P3" over his team radio.

Robson said his driver was "a bit more surprised than I thought he would [be]".

"He was frustrated coming out of FP3 when his last run was a bit compromised in a lot of traffic, which I think frustrated him – and another 10 or 12 drivers," Robson added.

"So I think it was probably a bit of relief, but he put in a genuinely good lap.

"The engineers did a good job of getting him out at a good time so he could prepare the tyres as he wanted and I think everything just came together really.

"The good thing was the lap in Q2 was pretty much as good, so I don't think it was just a one-off [and] everything coming together in a lucky way.

"Everything came together due to it being well-managed, better than it was at the end of FP3 [where Russell finished 18th]."

Robson also explained that Russell abandoned his first run in Q2 due to a combination of a factors, with the Briton then going on to set a best time in Q2 of 1m43.468s – an improvement of 0.162s compared to his time to escape Q1.

That lap briefly put him ahead of the two Ferrari drivers at the end of Q2, before they improved to take P13 and P14 on the grid.

"It was a scrubbed set of tyres [Russell used on his first Q2 run], so we knew it was going to be a struggle and we'd taken a little bit of engine mode out because it was scrubbed tyres," Robson said.

"And then I think he got caught by a gust of wind at Turn 5 at the end of the Kemmel straight, so he knew he was down and he opted just to save the car and give us a bit more time in the garage for the final run, which was the one that would count."

shares
comments

Related video

Ricciardo says Renault F1 car "happier" in low-downforce trim

Previous article

Ricciardo says Renault F1 car "happier" in low-downforce trim

Next article

Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix – how to watch, start time & more

Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix – how to watch, start time & more
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Belgian GP
Teams Williams
Author Alex Kalinauckas
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger Prime

How Verstappen's Bahrain mistake can only make him stronger

Max Verstappen lost out to Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix by a tiny margin, slipping off the track just as victory was within his grasp. But the painful lesson from defeat can only help Verstappen come back even stronger

Formula 1
Mar 31, 2021