Saturday, March 2, 2024

Williams’ Dave Robson: “Both drivers were able to mount a very strong recovery”

Even though the Williams Racing team failed to score points in the Hungarian Grand Prix, Dave Robson says eleventh place for Alexander Albon reflected a strong recovery from the Thai driver after he had been eliminated in Q1 during Qualifying on Saturday.

Albon used an aggressive strategy to jump other drivers by using the undercut, and from there his defensive driving, coupled with the straight-line speed of the FW45, enabled him to stay ahead of a number of other cars that had been faster than him.

Logan Sargeant had also used a similar strategy but was fighting for around fifteenth position when, late in the day, he spun at the chicane and lost some positions.  Williams opted at that point to retire the American’s car to avoid causing any additional damage.

Robson, the Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams, felt both drivers had driven strongly at the Hungaroring, and they were pleased to maintain their seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship despite not adding to their points tally.

“Today was exciting and both drivers were able to mount a very strong recovery from yesterday,” said Robson.  “Both followed aggressive strategies that allowed us to be on the attack and whilst it made for a difficult final stint, both dealt with it very well and showed good pace whilst also managing their tyres.

“Although we didn’t score any points, Alex finishing in eleventh place was a very strong result at a circuit that we expected wasn’t ideally suited to FW45. We have held on to seventh place in the Championship and collected another eleventh place finish in the process.

“It was a shame that Logan didn’t finish the race, but with a spin a few laps before the end, we opted to retire the car rather than risk further damage. Until that point, he was having another strong day and he can continue his good form into Spa.”

Robson believes Williams will be in a stronger position to fight for points next weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, a track that has been one that has played to the teams’ strengths in recent years.  

However, to have a good performance at a track such as the Hungaroring that isn’t one of their strongest gives them confidence going forward that their package is working well and is allowing their drivers to deliver strong drives.

“We now head to Spa for the final race before the summer shutdown,” Robson added.  “It is another sprint event, which will be very interesting given the weather and general nature of Spa.

“The car will be in quite a different configuration than it was this weekend and we hope that at as a result it will work well in Belgium.

“The strong result today was due to some excellent teamwork at the track and in the factory. We put together a good strategy and although it asked a lot of the drivers, they delivered strongly.”

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