Williams believes “points are on the way” after first Q2 appearance since 2018 | 2020 F1 season

George Russell’s performance in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix has inspired deputy team principal Claire Williams, who believes the team can soon score its first points for almost 12 months.

Williams has finished the last two seasons at the bottom of the championship table, scored a single point throughout 2019, and offered its team for sale two months ago to bring new investment.

On Saturday Russell took the team into Q2 for the first time since the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix. He came within a tenth of a second of reaching Q3, and has been promoted from 12th to 11th on the grid by Charles Leclerc’s penalty.

“I think [our] hopes have got to be points,” said Williams after qualifying. “I don’t think I would have thought I’d be saying that in race two this year.

“We wanted to make progress. I think that everybody’s efforts at Williams, whether it be track-side or at the factory, have really come together over the past weeks and months and certainly over the past 12 months. And we have demonstrated an uptick.

“Even just the work that’s been going on behind the scenes between these two Austrian races, it’s been really quite impressive. We’ve managed to resolve a lot of the issues that we found in ‘Austria one’ that now are on the car and bringing more performance.

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“So points would be wonderful. But I think let’s just take each race as it comes. I know they’re coming. I know those points are on their way to us and it will be an incredibly happy day when they arrive.”

Jack Aitken, Williams, Red Bull Ring, 2020
Williams made cooling improves to its FW43

The team’s head of vehicle performance Dave Robson said Williams have improved the cooling package on the FW43 since the first race. This, combined with forecast lower temperatures in today’s race, should mean they can run the car more aggressively in the Styrian Grand Prix.

“We had some clear issues on Sunday last week, not helped by the fairly warm conditions,” he said. “So we were managing the car more than we would like to do.

“But with the help of the factory we’ve made a few changes to the car this week. In those warm conditions in P2 there were very good signs that we’d fix the problems we were suffering with on Sunday. So I’m hopeful we can race much harder from start to finish.

“I think we’re slowly starting to understand the car better relative to our main competitors and I think we’ll see a good step forward by us [in the race]. Obviously that that’s kind of insignificant if everyone else makes similar steps. So we’ll what they’ve been up to for the last six or seven days. But yes, I’m confident we will do a better job.”

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2020 F1 season

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