Barcelona Test One – Day One
Drivers: George Russell, Nicholas Latifi
Chassis / Engine: FW43-01 / Mercedes-AMG F1 M11 EQ Performance
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655 km
Weather: Moderate and dry
Claire Williams, Deputy Team
Principal: Today was just the beginning of our 2020 campaign, but
we feel we’ve made a good start. Being the first car out on track this
morning may not win us any prizes, but it was a clear statement of intent
and lays to rest some of the ghosts of last year. The rest of the day was
executed pretty much perfectly, despite the packed programme. We clocked up
some considerable mileage without any issues and the team will now work
through the gathered data in preparation for tomorrow. It is so nice to see
the team back in action, everyone at Williams does such a great job and they
have worked hard today. My enormous thanks to everyone in the team, both
here and at the factory for the huge amount of effort that has gone into
getting the car ready for day one of testing. I look forward to seeing where
we finish at the end of day six.
Dave Robson, Senior Race
Engineer: A very promising start to the 2020 season for the team. George
was the first car on track this morning and spent the opening few hours
collecting aero data in several different configurations. By mid-morning we
were completing longer runs on different tyre compounds as we begin to
understand the main characteristics of the FW43. Following a successful
morning session, George ended his running, allowing Nicholas to take over
for the afternoon. Nicholas completed a further sequence of longer new tyre
runs, building on the work started by George this morning. In the evening we
took the opportunity to collect another round of aero data. Overall, it has
been a very encouraging day of reliable running of the FW43, which has been
made possible by the hard work and collective effort of everyone at the
track and back in Grove.
George Russell: I was happy with this morning’s running, completing
73 laps, and the feeling was positive. We had an intense programme planned,
and it was important to get out from the beginning so that we could get back
into the pits first and get on with the day. The general handling of the car
is much better, and from lap one I had confidence to push the car to the
limit. The FW43 is an improvement on last year, the lap times are the
important thing and we will only know at the end of next week where we are.
Overall, it has been a very positive morning, we just need to focus on our
programme and get the most out of testing. We are excited for the new
season, I am confident that we will be racing this year.
Russel said: "Overall it's been a very promising morning.
Definitely the general handling of the car is much better. From Lap One
today I had confidence to push the car to the limit, whereas last year it
wasn't a nice feeling in the early laps and it was quite scary to drive in
the opening laps.
"But a nice car to drive isn't always fast... we just need to see if we've
been able to smash enough downforce on the car to see if we can challenge
"Everybody was a bit lost at this time last year. We're definitely excited
for the new season. It was a character building year last year, but I'm
confident we can go racing this year and have a bit more fun. That's what
we're all looking for."
"Massively important (in regard to trouble free morning) firstly to getting
the car here on time, last year was far from ideal and the team have done a
really great job to achieve that and the build quality is so much better
than last year and things fit properly. The car looks better from a design
In respect of team-mate Nicholas Russell added: "He's probably the
most-prepared rookie F1 has had for a long, long time. I expect him to give
me a really hard time and keep me on my toes.
"From the outside people are expecting me to beat Nicholas hands down, but I
don't think it's going to be as easy as people think."
Overall, it was a very positive first day testing with the team. I can
definitely feel that the car has taken a step forward from last year, so
thanks to the team for their hard work over the winter. We just have to keep
plugging away each day and learn how the car reacts and see if we can find
some more performance. All in all, I’m very pleased with the first day of