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Spanish GP: Qualifying team notes - Williams

NEWS STORY
15/08/2020

George Russell qualified 18th and Nicholas Latifi 19th for the Spanish Grand Prix. George set a 1:18.099, his best time of the session, on his second run. Nicholas meanwhile improved on his final lap of his third run in Q1, posting a 1:18.532.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: We have had a tough day today and we need to understand how we could have got more out of the tyres. We made some decent improvements overnight but even so, we struggled more than we expected in FP3 and had to make a few more adjustments going into qualifying. In the circumstances, qualifying went reasonably well and both drivers were able to deliver some good laps. Unfortunately, Nicholas's final lap was hurt a little by traffic in the final chicane, and George's tyre preparation was compromised by the inevitable traffic jam in the last sector. However, the reality is that these things happen during qualifying sessions and the best defence is basic car pace, and we didn't have enough of that today.

We need to work on the overall pace of the FW43 so that we are better positioned going into the next sequence of races. In the meantime, we will prepare for the race tomorrow where we hope to be in a battle with Haas and Alfa Romeo. The long runs on Friday were tough for most and it will be interesting to see people's tyre choices tomorrow.

George Russell: I was pretty pleased with the qualifying session, as we were a long way off our competitors in Free Practice. I was happy with our performance step but nevertheless, we need to understand where our Saturday pace has gone. With these hot track conditions we are struggling to get the tyres in the right window. It's a bit strange as on paper, this circuit should suit us better than the last two weekends at Silverstone. We need to look deep into it, understand where our good pace has gone, and rectify it.

Nicholas Latifi: We closed the gap from yesterday after making some sizeable changes, but clearly it still wasn't enough. On my final lap, there was probably another two-and-a-half tenths to find, but it obviously wouldn't have changed my position. We didn't have the potential to get into Q2 as we have shown at previous races with the hot track conditions not suiting our car as much. We now have to focus on the race tomorrow to see what we can salvage.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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