Williams will run some new components during Friday practice for the Japanese Grand Prix as it looks to avoid a repeat of its 2019 woes next season.
The late arrival of its 2019 car put Williams on the back foot during pre-season testing, and once the new design ran it was clear that it was significantly off the pace. Following the poor start, chief technical officer Paddy Lowe left in March and since then Williams has made solid progress to get closer to the midfield. Senior race engineer Dave Robson said that work will continue in Japan with an eye on next season.
“We come to Suzuka with some new test components to evaluate as we continue our preparations for the 2020 season,” Robson said. “Alongside these test items, we will conduct our usual race preparation, consisting of car set-up refinement and tire understanding. Pirelli bring the hardest of their compound range to this event, tires which we last saw in Spa and Silverstone. They should be well-suited to the high demands of Suzuka.
“As a team we had a difficult weekend in Russia, and we arrive in Japan recovered and ready to continue the steady improvement that we have witnessed since the middle of the season.”
George Russell will be racing at Suzuka for the first time, and while he’s excited about the experience, the rookie is also hopeful Williams will be more competitive than in Russia.
“Japan is a race that I have been looking forward to for a long time, and it is a fantastic circuit that I can’t wait to drive,” Russell said. “The fans are extremely passionate, I have only been there once as a reserve driver and even then, it was a really great feeling. The nature of the circuit should suit us better than Sochi did, so hopefully we can show a bit more pace. All in all, I am really looking forward to it.”