Williams: Beating Haas, Alfa "realistic" target in Mexico

Williams believes its Formula 1 race pace is on par and could even be better than Haas and Alfa Romeo, labelling the teams “realistic” targets for the Mexican Grand Prix.

Williams: Beating Haas, Alfa "realistic" target in Mexico

George Russell qualified 0.224s behind Haas’ Romain Grosjean in Mexico, but both Russell and senior race engineer Dave Robson reckon Haas and Alfa Romeo are within its sights in Sunday's race. 

Asked by Motorsport.com if the two teams are an achievable target for Williams even if they don’t suffer issues in Sunday’s race, Russell said: “Absolutely. We’ve seen it on many occasions where we’ve had the same if not better pace than Haas in the race pace, Austria, Monza, a couple of other races. 

“So I think, definitely [it's possible]. We’ll just have to wait and see, it’s an incredibly tricky circuit, very easy to lock up tyres, if you lock up it’s game over. Very easy to grain the tyres, once again, if you do that it’s game over, so there will be some management needed, it will be a patience game I reckon.”

Read Also:

Robson said in his post-qualifying team briefing that the Haas and Alfa Romeo cars were “realistic opponents”.

He added: “I think race pace on Friday was certainly better than our low-fuel pace. “We think we were close, even a bit quicker than the Haas. I think the tyres will be better for us once we’ve got consecutive laps on them. 

“I think we’re looking forward to a reasonable race by the standards of the season. I think they [Haas and Alfa Romeo] will have improved things since P2. We’ve been able to get reasonably close in some races, so I think there is a chance, that’s certainly what we’ll go into tomorrow believing and then we’ll see how it goes from there.”

Kubica was 0.356s slower than Russell in qualifying, but Robson believes the Polish driver will be closer to his team-mate in the race.

“I think it’s tyres mainly,” added Robson for the reason Kubica struggled in qualifying. "Putting the fuel load in and doing consecutive laps will improve that. He was a little bit slower than George I think in P2 on high fuel, but not the gap we saw today [in qualifying] so hopefully he’ll be able to fight up there as well.”

Qualifying in Mexico was the first time the two Williams cars have utilised the team's new front wing, but Robson and Russell confirmed it was not a major part of the team's more competitive performance at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

"The recent upgrades are definitely a step in the right direction," said Russell. "But on paper they are not meant to bring a huge amount of performance here and now, it’s supposed to unlock more performance into next year." 

Robson added: "Obviously [the new wing is not] not Mexico specific, but I think that probably was a benefit, I think we’ll see more from it in the States next week."

shares
comments
Brawn: Reverse grid plan rejection shows F1's "classic problem"

Previous article

Brawn: Reverse grid plan rejection shows F1's "classic problem"

Next article

Pirelli working to improve "misleading" TV tyre graphics

Pirelli working to improve "misleading" TV tyre graphics
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Mexican GP
Teams Williams
Author Jack Benyon
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021 Prime

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021