15th and 18th place finishes for Stroll and Sirotkin respectively in the 2018 Russian Grand Prix brought to a close a difficult race for Martini Williams Racing.
Having been promoted to 13th and 14th on the grid as a result of penalties earned by other drivers, a messy start caused Sergey to drop a number of places, putting him immediately on the back foot in his home Grand Prix.
Starting on the Pirelli Ultrasoft tyre, both drivers would suffer from unexpected and serious graining prompting them to pit on lap 10, much earlier than planned.
With both drivers’ races already compromised by these early setbacks, little better was to come, as pitting early meant that they were now so far adrift they were now at the mercy of the blue flags, constantly having to move offline to allow the leaders by as they approached.
They were further hampered by being tucked up in the wake of a fuel-saving McLaren each, which prevented either Williams driver from exploiting any speed the car may have had on the soft tyre.
After the high-point of Williams’ season in Monza, Sochi proved to be the second difficult race in a row, at a time where the team seemed to be getting to grips with the performance issues of the FW41.
It’s only a week until the Japanese Grand Prix so there isn’t long to dwell on what Sergey Sirotkin described as his ‘most painful race of the year’.
Paddy Lowe has vowed to keep moving forward: Let’s hope like Monza, the technically difficult, high-speed Suzuka circuit plays to the strengths of the Williams FW41 and the team can score another good haul of points.