Williams Racing suffered a nightmare end to the first-ever Qatar Grand Prix, after both George Russell and Nicholas Latifi suffered late punctures resulting in Russell finishing seventeenth and Latifi retiring.
It was a disappointing way for Williams’ race to end, the team had opted for an aggressive one-stop strategy with both drivers, at a circuit where they knew the tyres would be pushed to their limit. Unfortunately for the Williams’ duo their tyres went over this limit, dropping Russell to the back of the field and leaving Latifi out of the race.
It brings a sad end to the final-triple header of the season for the team, who now look ahead to the final two races of what has been a memorable season for them. Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson highlighted the disappointment in both drivers suffering punctures, and that they deserve better from the final races.
“Having lost positions on the opening lap, we were keen on executing a one-stop race, which nearly half the field completed successfully. The first stint tyres were in good condition when we made our stop and so, with management, the one-stop race was viable and was our best opportunity to make progress.
“The car was working well and both drivers were comfortable and so to suffer the punctures so late in the race was a shame. Nicholas’s was especially annoying as it happened shortly after the pit entry and meant that he couldn’t negotiate his way back to the pit lane.
“Despite being at the final event of a tough triple-header, the team has worked tirelessly and performed well throughout, delivering a good race car to both drivers. We were unfortunate today and deserved better. However, we did a lot of things well and can be pleased with our work this week. We will be back in two-weeks’ time for the final events of the season, starting with the challenge of the awesome new circuit in Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”