Williams will implement its latest FW43 update on both its cars at next week’s British Grand Prix after the parts were trialed in Austria and Hungary and were deemed to offer a clear performance advantage.

Williams has enjoyed an upturn in performance this season thanks to its FW43, although the improvement has been mainly visible in qualifying as George Russell demonstrated last weekend when he secured the 12th fastest time in the Saturday afternoon session.

Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson believes Russell’s impressive performance was partly rooted in the FW43’s new components which teammate Nicholas Latifi was not using.

    Williams to retain Russell and Latifi for 2021

“It is quite powerful here, so probably Nicholas was always going to find it a little bit harder here relative to George,” Robson said in Austria.

Based on Russel’s performance and the team’s data analysis, Robson says that both drivers will be racing with an updated FW43 at Silverstone. However, the British engineer shied away from “putting a number” on the relative performance gain.

“They have been alternating it,” he said. “We had wet qualifying [in Austria] so it is hard to say, but I think that having both experienced it on and off, they are very convinced that it is a clear advantage.

“So they will both be furnished with it in the next race at Silverstone. But I couldn’t put a number on it.”

Williams stills needs to significantly improve its race pace, but the team’s progress this season is undeniable.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams says the upturn in form has been a massive relief for the beleaguered Grove-based outfit.

“There are quite a lot of emotions as you might imagine, because we have been through the mill for the past couple of years,” Williams told F1 Nation’s Tom Clarkson.
“It’s been extraordinarily painful… and don’t forget we were also given a beating while we were down as well by some people, and it has been really difficult.

“The emotions are running quite high at the moment, and they’re a mixed bag of them.

“Relief, clearly, is flooding through the team. We did promise that we were going to deliver improved performance this year, and I’m so pleased that we managed to deliver on that promise, it was very important to us.

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Is Williams on the verge of a new dawn? Only time will tell. But a resolutely positive atmosphere has descended upon F1’s third most successful team.

“The excitement is back, the adrenaline is back, sitting there watching the cars go out and knowing that they can do something other than come last in quali and last in the race.

“You quickly forget after two years what that does feel like.

“I just feel we can all hold our heads up a little bit higher because it’s never nice when you’re down and to have to try and keep holding your head up is difficult.”

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