“Big effort” at Williams factory to replace parts after two Imola crashes


In the round-up: Williams has been working flat-out to replace the parts which were destroyed when both their drivers crashed out of the last race.

In brief

Williams aim to rebound from Imola setbacks

George Russell’s collision with Valtteri Bottas in the Emilia-Romagna Grand prix ended Williams’ involvement in the race, as Nicholas Latifi had already gone out in a first-lap collision with Nikita Mazepin.

“The result in Imola was disappointing and has required a big effort from the factory to recover our stock of parts” said the team’s head of vehicle performance Dave Robson. “Fortunately, there were a lot of good things from the weekend too and we are now in Portugal looking forward to building on the progress made last time out.”

Following an uncompetitive start to the season in Bahrain, Williams were encouraged to see both their drivers reach Q2 last weekend, a result they intend to build on this weekend.

“We hope that the FW43B will work well here, allowing us to build on the performance that we showed in Imola,” said Robson. “We have plenty of work to get through on Friday, primarily focussing on the tyres, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Mercedes had ‘Get out of Jail Free” card – Wolff

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Imola, 2021
Hamilton salvaged second after costly error

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he feels fortunate the team is still ahead in the points standings after the problems they encountered at Imola. Bottas retired shortly after Lewis Hamilton lost a lap by skidding off the track, though the subsequent red flag allowed the world champion to unlap himself.

“Imola was a crazy race and the kind of grand prix that lives long in the memory,” said Wolff. “There were so many ups and downs and there were a few moments where it felt like we wouldn’t score any points at all. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, from the disappointment of Valtteri’s scary accident to the thrill of Lewis’ recovery drive.

“To come away leading both championships almost felt like a get out of jail free card, because our rivals didn’t maximise the opportunity we gave them. And it just proves what a challenging season we have ahead of us and how quickly things can turn around in Formula 1.”

Wolff believes the team may face competition from teams besides Red Bull this weekend. “We’re expecting another close fight with Red Bull, and both McLaren and Ferrari could also be in the mix too,” he said.

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On this day in F1

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