Russian GP: Difficult FP1 for Williams Racing

By Andrew Hooper
September 25 2020

The opening Friday practice session for the 2020 Russian GP would see the Williams Racing Team suffer a difficult session with the main issue been the crash involving Nicholas Latifi which would see the Canadian crash heavily into the barrier ending his session. For George Russell his session would see him finish in 17th while Nicholas would be 20th having just completed eleven laps. Both drivers had completed soft tyre runs and had just started their ttyre evaluations when Nicholas would crash. It is expected he will return for FP2.

 Williams Racing Russian GP Friday 1st Practice

Team Summary:
With the start of the first Friday practice session for the 2020 Russian Grand Prix there would be a flow of drivers coming out for their installation laps including both Williams drivers. The first time would come from Hamilton with a 1m:37.716 using the hard tyre but Bottas would go quicker with a 1m:37.313 using the medium. With twenty minutes of the session completed drivers would start to return to the track as Albon went third on the hard tyre. Kvyat was now second behind Bottas. Perez would go quickest using the medium tyre setting a 1m:37.304. But Kvyat would improve to be quickest with a 1m:37.124 followed by Perez and Bottas. Magnussen was fourth followed by Verstappen and Leclerc with the Haas and Ferrari drivers on the soft tyre. As the track improved the order would change rapidly with Ricciardo setting a 1m:36.852 to be quickest on the hard tyre.

Perez was now second followed by Leclerc, Sainz, Kvyat, Ocon and Bottas now eighth. After their first runs the Williams drivers were 14th and 18th. Verstappen was now quickest with a 1m:36.751 using the hard tyre but on the soft Bottas would improve with a 1m:34.923 to be quickest. Perez was now second followed by Verstappen and Ricciardo. With the first forty minutes completed the track would empty with the Williams drivers 13th and 16th while the top ten was Bottas, Perez, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Gasly, Sainz, Kvyat, Ocon and Stroll. Hamilton was down in 15th after not getting a quick lap in. The first cars to return weer the Mercedes with Bottas on the medium and Hamilton the hard. They were joined by the Ferrari's also using the split tyre runs. The track would become quite busy as the session continued. Both Racing Point cars were on soft tyre runs joined by the Red Bull's.

But the session would be red flagged when Nicholas would crash his Williams losing the rear end of his car ending up in the barrier with extensive damage to the car. The session would restart and we would see the track again busy. Bottas would continue to be quickest but he was followed by Ricciardo, Verstappen, Perez, Stroll and Ocon in sixth. With the end of the session the order would remain the same with Kvyat in seventh followed by Albon, Vettel and Gasly tenth. The Williams drivers would finish in 17th and 20th, Very much a session that was marred by the crash of Nicholas.

George Russell:
George would follow his team-mate out also using the hard tyre for his single installation lap. George was back out using the soft tyre for his first timed laps. George would set a 1m:38.005 to be 12th. George would improve with a 1m:37.595 after four laps on the soft tyre. He would pit after a six lap run. With the session restart George would return running on the hard tyre. He was currently 17th and would finish the session in this position completing his hard tyre run. George would suffer from lock-ups in particular at Turn thirteen.

Nichols Latifi:
With the start of the Friday practice Nicholas would be out first for Williams using the hard tyre. He would complete a single installation lap. With just over an hour and five minutes remaining Nicholas would return this time on the soft tyre. His first time would be a 1m:38.779 to be 14th. He would drop to 18th but would improve with a 1m:37.784 to be 16th. Nicholas would pit after a six lap run. With forty minutes remaining Nicholas would return on the medium tyre. But his session would end when he would crash at Turn 10 seeing him lose his car ending up in the barrier. He would comment to his engineer "I crashed. I'm okay. Sorry guys". With his car back in teh garage and with his mechanics starting the process of repairing the car Nicholas had dropped to be 20th and with the end of the session would only complete just eleven laps.

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m34.923s
2 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 0.507s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 0.654s
4 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 0.873s
5 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1.042s
6 Esteban Ocon Renault 1.138s
7 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 1.307s
8 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 1.331s
9 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1.400s
10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1.783s
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1.973s
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 2.047s
13 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 2.187s
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 2.278s
15 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 2.307s
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 2.507s
17 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 2.672s
18 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 2.726s
19 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2.793s
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 2.861s

pqs: qs:
Russian GP: Difficult FP1 for Williams Racing
Posted by: Williams F1 (IP Logged)
Date: 25/09/2020 10:06

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