George Russell says he expects Williams’ on-track form to “yo-yo” throughout the 2021 Formula 1 season.
The Grove-based team is seeking to improve upon its position at the bottom of the Constructors’ standings, where it has been positioned every year since 2018.
Following the three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain last weekend, Russell says Williams’ development path has left the team with a fast race car at the expense of being susceptible to windy conditions.
As a result, Russell believes Williams’ performances will fluctuate throughout the upcoming campaign.
“This test has been a very productive one for the team, we’ve done an incredible amount of laps, no issues reliability wise,” Russell said after clocking 158 laps on Sunday.
“We knew ahead of the season and confirmed in these days that our car was incredibly sensitive to the wind.
“The conditions of these past three days have brought out the worst of the car – which has been positive in ways to analyse.
“But equally I think you’ll see our performance as a bit of a yo-yo this season and unfortunately quite often in the hands of the wind.”
Russell added that Williams recognised it only needed to be fast at a handful of races this year in order to score points and rid itself from the base of the Constructors’ Championship.
“We’ve opted to go down a bit of a route to give more downforce, but at the expense of being a bit more sensitive,” Russell said.
“That was our decision. Ultimately, we recognised that if we were consistently at a set pace as we probably were last year, we consistently won’t be scoring points.
“You’ve only got to be quick at two races for example and you will potentially finish eighth or ninth in the championship.
“Haas scored three points, Alfa scored eight, we want to try and be as quick as possible when the stars almost align.
“It is uncommon to have three days [of testing] as we’ve just seen with the wind strength so it’s not as though it’s something crazy, every team is experiencing it.
“But it is a small decision we made as ultimately we believe it will produce better results at some races.”