Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson believes the team may have found a “step forwards” with recent aerodynamic upgrades introduced ahead of the recent triple-header of races.
The back-of-the-grid team started the season with concerns over an inherent issue with how its car handles windy conditions, leaving it susceptible to unpredictability and making it hard to drive.
However, with George Russell storming to 12th in France before running in the top 10 in Styria, the team is optimistic changes have been made for the good.
“We put some new aero parts on one car in Baku and onto both cars for France [and Styria]," said Robson.
"We’re just starting to really understand them and how to make the most out of them and we have taken a step forwards.
“The high fuel pace was very encouraging [in Styria on Friday], the pace was good in terms of lap time, the driver feedback on the state of the tyres and balance of the car was good.”
Williams has not changed approach
Russell achieved a 12th place finish in France, describing it as his “best ever race” in F1, but in Styria last Sunday, after qualifying 11th and starting 10th by way of a penalty to Yuki Tsunoda, he had an engine issue which forced him into retirement when in with a chance of points.
Robson said the team has not “changed too much” in terms of its approach and added: “We’re always very conscious that Sunday’s is where the points are scored, we’ve always been largely focused in that direction.
“Those tyres are very sensitive and it’s amazing how subtle the control is to reduce the degradation, so I’m sure there’s a bit of that. He is just continuing to learn some of the subtleties.
“So, it’s just a few minor things. We changed the run plan slightly [on Friday] to favour the high-fuel running, but that was because we thought it might rain and we wanted to get it in.”
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