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Stroll: Williams’ Bahrain GP performance deficit “shocking”

Williams struggling to unlock potential of FW41

Chinese Grand Prix – Lance Stroll has conceded that “everything needs work” on the Williams FW41 following a point-less start to the season.

After to races of the season, Williams remain the only team without a points finish, whilst drivers Stroll and Sergei Sirotkin sit 18th and 20th in the drivers’ standings.

The pair finished the Bahrain Grand Prix in 14th and 15th place respectively, but neither driver were close to securing a points finish.

Speaking ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, when comparing the FW41 to last year’s car, Stroll conceded that whilst he felt some cornering improvements, the new car was struggling for straight line speed.

“In Bahrain it was shocking how much of a step backwards [it was],” said Stroll, “I was four tenths slower [in qualifying] than I was last year.

“We were losing time on the straights. We haven’t improved. We improved a bit in the corners, but not even close to the extent we were hoping for.

“In Australia we improved the lap time a little bit compared to last year when Felipe [Massa] was in Q3.

“It’s a bit up and down, but it’s still early days. There’s still 19 races to go, and there’s a lot more to understand and to look at before we come to a conclusion.”

Stroll added that he felt the car handled better in Australia, but much more work was needed in several areas to improve the performance of the FW41.

“Definitely the handling is very challenging, but also a little bit inconsistent, because at times, like in Australia, I thought the car wasn’t good, but it was much better than it was in Bahrain,” he said.

“The reason why, we’re not sure, but definitely I experienced a much better-balanced car at other circuits — or the only other circuit that we did, in Australia — than in Bahrain, so that’s positive to know.

“Here we’re using the same compounds as in Australia, so maybe there are some positives to look at. We did get into Q2 in Australia, so it was definitely a better Saturday there than it was in Bahrain.

“But, yeah, there are a lot of things to sort out — our straight-line speed, our handling; everything needs work.”

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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