Williams believes it is on a par with Haas at the Mexican GP

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 believes it is on a par with Haas at the Mexican GP

George Russell qualified 0.224 seconds behind Haas's 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 Autosport if the two teams are an achievable target for Williams even if they don't suffer issues in Sunday's race, Russell replied: "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, wake up tomorrow, 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."

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
Hamilton messaged absent F1 engineer Bonnington for advice
Previous article

Hamilton messaged absent F1 engineer Bonnington for advice

Next article

'Single most important' F1 cost cap process not in place

'Single most important' F1 cost cap process not in place
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Plus

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great Plus

How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great

John Surtees and Enzo Ferrari parted ways amicably but could have achieved more together. On the weekend that Formula 1 makes its bow in Qatar, a country best-known for staging bike racing, NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the career of the formidable ‘Big John’ - the first man to achieve success at the highest level on two and four wheels

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2021