United States Grand Prix – William’s George Russell says recent updates to the FW42 have been with 2020 in mind, and that it’s ever improving.
Williams remain at the very back of the field as the 2019 season winds down – a year that has been nothing but abject misery for the former Champions. A solitary point, courtesy of Robert Kubica at the chaotic German Grand Prix, is their sole reward so far this year as they languish in plum last in the Constructor’s Championship.
The FW42 was a mean looking beast to drive for most of 2019 but, with recent updates seeming to perk up the car a little, George Russell says there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
The car has improved throughout the year, with Nicholas Latifi offering some insight into that when he drove at Spa just after the summer break, and Russell says that the Williams is now an altogether ‘nicer’ machine to drive.
“I think the upgrades we’ve brought to the car recently, it’s more been looking into 2020.” explained Russell. “We knew that it’s not going to necessarily unlock a lot of performance on the car as it is now – but it’s definitely looking promising going into next year.”
“Overall, the car is definitely nicer to drive. I mean, at the start of the year it was not nice at all, let’s say, and it was pretty tricky just to get around a lap. But we’ve done a good job to fine-tune the balance, just to make it a nicer car to drive – but now we need to rely on the engineers back at the factory to bolt some more downforce on it.”
It’s coming to the conclusion of Russell’s debut season in Formula 1, and he’ll continue on at Williams for 2020. His teammate isn’t yet known, as Robert Kubica has already confirmed he’s off elsewhere at the end of this year, but Russell said he’s overall content with how his first year as an F1 driver has progressed.
“I think there’s things I’ve been happy with, things I haven’t been… just experience really.” he said. “The little things that you only improve on, race by race: understanding the tyres; the starts. It’s pretty tricky starting at the back of the grid, with all the cars around, a massive lack of downforce. Even less downforce than what we’ve got, let’s say. Just little bits and bobs here and there. I think I’ll definitely be a better driver into next year.”