The Williams F1 team arrived at Hockenheim for this weekend’s German Grand Prix with a significant number of ‘test parts’ (updates to you and me) to their FW42, including turning vanes, bargeboards, ‘boomerangs’ and a new floor.
Bolting them to Robert Kubica’s car only to provide a direct comparison against George Russell’s non-upgraded car they proved to be an instant step forward in performance as Kubica not only finished the session ahead of his British team mate (an unusual occurrence in 2019) but with a gap of 0.6 seconds.
However, it wasn’t the unmitigated success it would seem.
As with most of these ‘test parts’ they are experimental and often experience one or two teething troubles whilst they are perfected.
In this case it would appear the new parts, very intricate in nature, are quite fragile – Kubica admitting post session that his car was damaged in his out lap, compromising anything that would follow.
Kubica told Autosport (in true Kubica style):
“When you leave the garage and already on the installation lap you are, let’s say, compromised”
“Unfortunately we were influenced by this straight away, so it wasn’t an easy day.”
“We were a bit too fragile, that’s how it is, so we have to make sure everything will stay attached to the car, and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.”
While this shows a vulnerability that Williams need to work on, it could also suggest that there is even more time to come from the updated FW42 than the second or so gain Kubica’s time’s point towards.
Tomorrow, both Kubica and Russell will benefit from the updates so it will be fascinating to see how the car performs in the hands of Russell – seemingly the quicker of Williams’ two drivers.
If I were Haas and Alfa Romeo I’d be looking over my shoulder!!
Bring on FP3 and qualifying!