Belgian GP: Difficult FP1 for ROKiT Williams Racing

By Andrew Hooper
August 30 2019

The opening Friday practice ession would be an uneventful one for the ROKiT Williams Team but despite this it was still a difficult one with both drivers slowest. This session would see Nicholas Latifi replace George Russell and at the end of the session it would be Nicholas who would be ahead of team-mate Robert Kubica. The team would complete three runs on the soft tyre while making various changes including the rear wing on Latifi's car during the session. As George Russell had said this track was not going to be one that would see the FW42 perform well.

 ROKiT Williams Belgian GP Friday 1st Practice

Team Summary:
The opening Friday practice session for the 2019 Belgian GP would see the teams complete their installation laps The first time would come from Bottas with a 2m:04.174 running on the soft tyre. Hamilton was out but would have an engine issue that would see him forced to pit. Bottas would improve with a 1m:47.535 to be again quickest ahead of Nicholas. More drivers started to return for timed runs. Quickest was now Stroll with a 1m:47.444 followed by Bottas and Hulkenberg. At the front Ricciardo was now quickest with a 1m:46.790 followed now by Verstappen and Leclerc, Stroll, and Bottas. The top three were on the soft tyre. The Virtual safety Car would be deployed on the main straight with debris on the track from a Racing Point car. Stroll had lost part of the engine cover from his car.

The Williams drivers were 16th and 19th with just under an hour remaining. The session would restart with Verstappen going quickest with a 1m:45.803. Albon would move into third with a 1m:46.960. With the opening forty minutes completed the track would empty as the first set of tyres would be handed back. The first car back out was Sainz who would move up to second. More drivers started to return including Hamilton who had not set a time. Albon was now second from Verstappen and now Ricciardo. Perez was fourth followed by Sainz and Hulkenberg in sixth. Bottas was now second but on the medium tyre but Leclerc would push them all down as he went quickest with a 1mL:44.788 but Vettel would go even quicker with a 1m:44.574.

Albon would move up to third ahead of Verstappen and Bottas fifth. But Verstappen would move into third. Hamilton would move up to sixth after a session that was a difficult one. Stroll was now seventh ahead of Ricciardo, Perez, and Sainz now tenth. Fifteen minutes remaining and both Williams drivers were slowest. The Mercedes were fifth and sixth but were still on the medium tyre. With the end of the session Vettel would remain quickest from Leclerc, Verstappen, Albon, Bottas, Hamilton, Stroll, Ricciardo, Perez, and Sainz tenth. The Williams drivers would remain slowest after a session that saw both drivers complete three runs on the soft tyre. The fact that Nicholas was to finish ahead of Robert is somewhat of a concern.

Robert Kubica:
Robert would follow his team-mate out also on the soft tyre. Robert was back out for his first run but would spin at e Source in what was a slow spin. He was not the only driver. Robert would set a slow time but would improve with a 1m:50.148 to be just ahead of Nicholas. Robert would improve with a 1m:49.195 to move ahead of Nicholas. Robert would pit after a eight lap run. With thirty four minutes remaining Robert would return again on the soft tyre. Robert would improve with a 1m:48.966 pitting after a eight lap run. With just under ten minutes remaining Robert would return again on soft tyres. Robert would not improve remaining slowest as the session ended.


Nichols Latifi:
Nicholas would replace George Russell for the opening Friday practice session. Nicholas would come out very early running on the soft tyre. He would pit after a single installation lap. After a short delay Nicholas would return again on soft tyres. Nicholas would set a 1m:50.844 to go quickest if only briefly. He would drop down the order as other times were set. Nicholas would improve with a 1m:49.513 on his fifth lap. Nicholas would continue to lap the circuit on a long run. Nicholas would pit after a nine lap run. The team would change Nicholas's rear wing trying to find the right compromise. Nicholas would follow Robert out also on the soft tyre for his second run. Nicholas was able to set a 1m:48.784 to move ahead of Robert. Nicholas would also pit after an eight lap run. Nicholas was to return also on soft tyres but with the end of the session he had not improved.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m44.574s - 20
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m44.788s 0.214s 20
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m45.507s 0.933s 18
4 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 1m45.584s 1.010s 19
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m45.882s 1.308s 25
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m45.973s 1.399s 16
7 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m46.198s 1.624s 16
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m46.426s 1.852s 23
9 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m46.433s 1.859s 22
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1m46.557s 1.983s 20
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m46.669s 2.095s 23
12 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m46.670s 2.096s 19
13 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m47.024s 2.450s 20
14 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m47.176s 2.602s 18
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m47.333s 2.759s 22
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m47.488s 2.914s 21
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1m47.636s 3.062s 20
18 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1m47.968s 3.394s 26
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m48.784s 4.210s 24
20 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1m48.966s 4.392s 24

pqs: qs:
Belgian GP: Difficult FP1 for ROKiT Williams Racing
Posted by: Williams F1 (IP Logged)
Date: 30/08/2019 12:16

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