George Russell: Williams losing two seconds per lap on straights
George Russell says Williams is relinquishing two seconds per lap on Formula 1’s front-runners due to the level of inherent drag on the FW42.
Williams has struggled for performance through the 2019 campaign amid a lack of downforce but its FW42 has also lacked straight-line speed amid the drag present on the car.
Williams displayed increased potential in Hungary, where there is only one major straight, but in Belgium was once again left marooned at the rear of the pack.
“It’s probably an even harder weekend than Spa,” said Russell, looking ahead to this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
“Everyone knows we’re struggling with downforce but probably people don’t know we are incredibly slow on the straights.
“We were [losing] up to two seconds on the straight versus the quickest cars, a second slower on the straights versus anyone else, so it was incredibly difficult for us.
“It was clear after Hungary we had a very good performance but a lot of that was down to the straights, the deficit didn’t seem as great.
“This is probably going to be the toughest one of the year.”
Russell nonetheless stressed that Williams can still gather data and understanding from its car in spite of its limited on-track potential.
“You can always learn something from everywhere you go,” he said.
“Last weekend was tough for us, we still learned a lot from the race, tyre degradation, difference between the Medium and Soft, the C3 and C2.
“Like I said, you’re always learning stuff and no lap is wasted.”