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Williams: Drivers, management and other folks at Grove 2019


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#201 messy

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 12:36

See even there, Lewis finished the race third (before his penalty).

 

I just can't get my head around quite how bad the Williams is. Although I suppose last season was poor too. In 2017 they turned up in Melbourne with the fourth fastest car and Massa won 'class B' from pole!



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#202 tghik

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 12:36

Yes, but everyone (especially RK) knows that they do not have the spares. I'm sure no one at Williams wants this situation, but it is what it is - and the team members have to deal with it as best the can. I'm sure it will improve, but you can't blame the team if, knowing there are limited spares, you damage the floor of your car. It wasn't the lack of spares that hampered him, it was the lack of being able to recover from the damage that he caused. I'm not saying that it was not unforunate that this happened, but you cannot blame the team here. It's like getting caught by the terms and conditions applied by someone and saying "no one else has those terms, so why should I suffer just because I agreed to them".

 

Damaged the floor during the race, but that's not what we're talking about. The parts were "tired" which is completely different. And then they repair "damaged" parts due to lack of spares which I've never heard of in F1.

 

There is also the fact he used the car from testing, while Russell had a new unit. Due to the car's delicate nature having older parts seems had an impact more on RK than on George. I don't know what the heck is the problem with the "tired" parts, we are not in the aerospace where the systems have a calculated limited lifespan for safety reasons. Sure they make things thinner in order to shave the weight but in case of Williams it is extreme. Both drivers were instructed not to ride the kerbs, now the question is if GR and RK avoided the kerbs to the same degree ?

 

All i know Kubica is now aware there exists an operating window this car likes plus hopefully less problems with parts availability so I'm predicting a completely different story in Bahrain, big bounce.



#203 Pat Clarke

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 13:04

I am reliably informed the parts availability problem went back to staff in the purchasing dept being retrenched in an economy move. 

As a result, some stuff wasn't purchased (long lead times for some stuff) pointing to the communication issue that resulted.

They had to borrow some carbon from another F1 team and it ended with some design engineers actually making carbon parts at the last minute.

 

All is not well at Williams and I can understand if Paddy exploded "I can't work with this sh*t"!

 

What a sad sad sad state of affairs, but the ultimate blame must lie with the management.

 

Pat



#204 farsailor

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 14:15

For JV it took half a season before he had some what the upper hand on Massa, after being away for one year. For Schumacher, he never got the upper hand on Rosberg, after being away for three years. It will take Robert some time to get up to speed, if he ever does, after being away for what 8 years? It is normal and to be expected. Williams should have probably gone with Marcus Ericsson.



#205 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 14:33

we are not in the aerospace where the systems have a calculated limited lifespan for safety reasons.

 

:confused:

 

Parts in motorsport are indeed lifed based on fatigue calculations and so on... During this "life" while they are in service: they are taken off the car after a race meeting, crack tested, refurbished and reinstalled for the next race meeting. 

 

Sadly, not many race teams are rich enough to have 100% new parts at every meeting, that is not realistic.


Edited by V8 Fireworks, 18 March 2019 - 14:34.


#206 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 14:36

Fair enough if you want to say he’s rusty. He’s been out of F1 racing for years.

 

It's inexplicable that Kubica did not compete (and win) F2 or Super Formula championship as a means to prepare for F1 return.  :confused:



#207 milestone 11

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 14:39

:confused:

 

Parts in motorsport are indeed lifed based on fatigue calculations and so on... During this "life" while they are in service: they are taken off the car after a race meeting, crack tested, refurbished and reinstalled for the next race meeting. 

 

Sadly, not many race teams are rich enough to have 100% new parts at every meeting, that is not realistic.

Let's hope that Williams have a similar sysem to Red Bull.


Edited by milestone 11, 18 March 2019 - 14:40.


#208 tghik

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 14:54

For JV it took half a season before he had some what the upper hand on Massa, after being away for one year. For Schumacher, he never got the upper hand on Rosberg, after being away for three years. It will take Robert some time to get up to speed, if he ever does, after being away for what 8 years? It is normal and to be expected. Williams should have probably gone with Marcus Ericsson.

 

How about Rosberg was better than Schumi and even if he didn't leave he still would not be able to beat Rosberg ? Nico is not Barichiello and it is not at Ferrari where politics reign.



#209 Risil

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 15:07

How about Rosberg was better than Schumi and even if he didn't leave he still would not be able to beat Rosberg ? Nico is not Barichiello and it is not at Ferrari where politics reign.


That is a separate thread. ("Was Nico better than Schumi?" has all the makings of an off-season classic.)

#210 PayasYouRace

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 16:44

It's inexplicable that Kubica did not compete (and win) F2 or Super Formula championship as a means to prepare for F1 return.  :confused:

 

I don't think he'd be allowed in F2 because of too much F1 experience. Either way, neither of those series replicate the physical demands of F1. The cars are slower and the races are shorter. Doing them would have only been of limited value at best.



#211 Dolph

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 16:50

It's inexplicable that Kubica did not compete (and win) F2 or Super Formula championship as a means to prepare for F1 return.  :confused:

 

Those seats aren't free, are they!?



#212 taran

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 16:53

I don't think he'd be allowed in F2 because of too much F1 experience. Either way, neither of those series replicate the physical demands of F1. The cars are slower and the races are shorter. Doing them would have only been of limited value at best.

 

But isn't it being said that Kubica is understandably rusty after 8 years away (from single-seat racing). And that the cars have changed so much.

 

Not knowing the car puts him at the same level as Russell. But being rusty is on him.

If he had done some racing, in Japan for example, he could have regained some racing sharpness.



#213 WilliamsF1Fan

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 17:52

So... Russell had a good debut, didn't he  :D



#214 tormave

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 18:00

https://streamable.com/x80t8
a video of the start.

Based on the video, Kubica lost his front wing by driving into the right rear tyre of Gasly at the exit of T1?

That’s the good thing about this year’s Williams: that’s probably the last chance in any race to have an incident with another team’s car.

#215 PayasYouRace

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 18:01

But isn't it being said that Kubica is understandably rusty after 8 years away (from single-seat racing). And that the cars have changed so much.

 

Not knowing the car puts him at the same level as Russell. But being rusty is on him.

If he had done some racing, in Japan for example, he could have regained some racing sharpness.

 

You have to ask how much the rustiness is from being away from any racing and from being away from F1 particularly. Given how Melbourne went, he didn't exactly have a chance to show how well non-F1 specific skills like racecraft are.



#216 PayasYouRace

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 18:02

Based on the video, Kubica lost his front wing by driving into the right rear tyre of Gasly at the exit of T1?

That’s the good thing about this year’s Williams: that’s probably the last chance in any race to have an incident with another team’s car.

 

Sounds good. No more being lapped.



#217 tghik

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 18:59

Based on the video, Kubica lost his front wing by driving into the right rear tyre of Gasly at the exit of T1?

That’s the good thing about this year’s Williams: that’s probably the last chance in any race to have an incident with another team’s car.

driving into Gasly or Gasly driving into Kubica ?

I see Gasly turning right in the left turning corner, away from Mclaren. I don't see Kubica being at fault. Maybe slightly Gasly in the wrongdoing by reacting too strong to Mclaren move, but I'd rather call it a simple first corner racing incident.



#218 Gemini

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 19:15

Given how Melbourne went, he didn't exactly have a chance to show how well non-F1 specific skills like racecraft are.

 

Oh come on!! He had 234,456 blue flag calls and he handled all of them cleanly. With one rear mirror  missing :clap:  :clap:  :clap:



#219 PayasYouRace

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 20:14

Oh come on!! He had 234,456 blue flag calls and he handled all of them cleanly. With one rear mirror  missing :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

 

Not the first time I've said this, but this forum has impaired my ability to detect sarcasm.



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#220 Paco

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 21:17

Sounds good. No more being lapped.

 

You dont actually believe that do you.. theres easily going be lots of races where they can't nail the tires and will be lapped, hopefully not twice..

 

NO TP (who said forget it, this is nuts to work in) = NO funds to even build a part = NO  developments = Even slower car as season progress and teams make their cars faster (not just better)

 

Pretty simple formula don't you think.  They can't even race with suitable replacement parts, let alone repurposed patched together old stuff.. its amazing a car even raced and made it to the end of Australia.

 

Engineering team isn't the problem, Paddy wasn't isn't the problem (irregardless if he continues to be involved and I think he is), Staff isn't the problem, Facilities are not the problem.. if you can't buy your own CarbonFiber element (if true) at this point in the season then you can not blame any staff but the

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS of running an under funded race team.

 

The only option immediately is to buy a Mercedes rear end, Mercedes gearbox and eat crow for 2 years.  As a protest to current funding distribution, race with a black nose cose and black strip on the airbox.


Edited by Paco, 18 March 2019 - 21:24.


#221 PayasYouRace

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 21:19

You dont actually believe that do you..

 

No I don't. But it is the logical conclusion from that particular post.

 

Edit: Having seen your edit, I think you need to chill out. Also, your post is immediately declared null and void for using the redundant non-word, "irregardless".



#222 tormave

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 22:47

driving into Gasly or Gasly driving into Kubica ?

I see Gasly turning right in the left turning corner, away from Mclaren. I don't see Kubica being at fault. Maybe slightly Gasly in the wrongdoing by reacting too strong to Mclaren move, but I'd rather call it a simple first corner racing incident.

 

You can call it whatever you want, of course. I'm pretty sure if Gasly got a puncture in the hit, they would've penalized Kubica. He only broke his own car, so moot point really.

 

But the part about "racing incident" that bothers me, is "racing". It was utterly pointless for Kubica to not leave way more room for Gasly. Kubica was not racing Gasly, he was supposed to be catching up for lost time in Barcelona. I'm no testing expert, but I would think a test with broken front wing is far less useful than with a wing that isn't.



#223 NoForumForOldPole

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 22:48

I am starting to wonder, if they even have secured budget for whole year.

That would be really sad end - going bust in the middle of season.

Edited by NoForumForOldPole, 18 March 2019 - 22:49.


#224 PayasYouRace

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 22:50

What's the point in starting these rumours? This time last week it was whether they'd even get two cars running in Melbourne.



#225 pdac

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 22:55

I am starting to wonder, if they even have secured budget for whole year.

That would be really sad end - going bust in the middle of season.

 

A bit gloomy. I'm sure they have the resources they need to complete the season. It will just be a matter of what they can do beyond that.



#226 NoForumForOldPole

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 22:56

I wish Williams very best but it is just adding 2 plus 2.

Lowe gone, no car build for begining of testing, no spare parts for the race, one pay driver and one Mercedes driver, Martini gone replaced by Rokit, and judging by the performance not enough was spend on R&D.

Is the team just badly run or this is jst a consequence of lack of funds?

Who knows what else is in the closet?

Edited by NoForumForOldPole, 18 March 2019 - 23:30.


#227 Gary Davies

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 23:34

I would love to know whether or how the steering wheel controls have been modified for Robert. I am given to understand that he cannot rotate the right wrist as one would need to do in order to rotate a knob.

#228 Sterzo

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 23:44

...one pay driver and one Mercedes driver...

When will people understand it matters not a jot how someone is funded, what matters is whether they are good or not.



#229 NoForumForOldPole

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Posted 18 March 2019 - 23:59

Ohh you are wrong - it DOES matter everything for Williams.

One pay driver and one engine discount driver who both happened to be good if not great. I agree. Best of both worlds. But would they consider others not funded drivers? No. Because Williams have no money. Which was the point I was making.

Edited by NoForumForOldPole, 19 March 2019 - 00:06.


#230 Clatter

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 01:47

Well, Ocon didn't want the drive in the first place, so I guess he isn't laughing.
Also I'm sure they 100% knew the car is going to be weak.

When did Ocon say that? And was that before or after Williams said they didn't want him.?

#231 tghik

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 02:14

You can call it whatever you want, of course. I'm pretty sure if Gasly got a puncture in the hit, they would've penalized Kubica. He only broke his own car, so moot point really.

 

But the part about "racing incident" that bothers me, is "racing". It was utterly pointless for Kubica to not leave way more room for Gasly. Kubica was not racing Gasly, he was supposed to be catching up for lost time in Barcelona. I'm no testing expert, but I would think a test with broken front wing is far less useful than with a wing that isn't.

 

Look again at Gasly, the distance from the corner increases. It is left hand corner but Gasly's turned right while Kubica's car is pointing in the right direction tangent to the curve.  Basically Gasly jerked overreacting to Mclaren's move. If it was anything special they'd have had a look at it, but there was no announcement for scrutiny.

 

Anyway, to begin with you said that Kubica drove into Gasly, I don't think you can prove it



#232 Gemini

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 02:49

Look again at Gasly, the distance from the corner increases. It is left hand corner but Gasly's turned right while Kubica's car is pointing in the right direction tangent to the curve.  Basically Gasly jerked overreacting to Mclaren's move. If it was anything special they'd have had a look at it, but there was no announcement for scrutiny.

 

Anyway, to begin with you said that Kubica drove into Gasly, I don't think you can prove it

 

I have not watched the replay carefully but this was RK misjudgment to be there and take any smallest risk in corner 1/2. He had no business in racing RedBull car. He was starting on hard tyres and the plan was to extend a preseason test. This and two contact with walls make me think he still has issues with getting the feel how wide these cars are



#233 thuGG

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 08:19

When did Ocon say that? And was that before or after Williams said they didn't want him.?

 

I don't remember exactly, sometime last year. The general consensus on this board that he didn't really want to drive for them, and I don't blame him.



#234 juliuscaesar

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 08:28

Well, that was embarrassing, complete sh*tshow.

 

Robert needs to quickly find his feet, otherwise he won't finish the season. Russell did a pretty good job. We just have to pray we'll see some kind of progress in the next few races.


Edited by juliuscaesar, 19 March 2019 - 08:31.


#235 absinthedude

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 08:49

"It was RK's misjudgment".....oh please.....he was taking a valid racing line while Gasly turned into him. It's a racing incident and no penalty was earned....but to blame RK for being where he was on the track is ludicrous.....as I've said before,  some of the most blatant cherry-picking of evidence I have ever seen is going on in the attempts to criticise Kubica. 

 

Ocon never said that he didn't want the Williams drive. Mercedes attempted to offer him to Williams, but only on a one year deal because they want to keep open the option of Ocon replacing Bottas for 2020. Williams didn't want to baby-sit Esteban for one season only to have to replace him.....Russell was available for at least two seasons. 



#236 SenorSjon

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 10:43

Damaged the floor during the race, but that's not what we're talking about. The parts were "tired" which is completely different. And then they repair "damaged" parts due to lack of spares which I've never heard of in F1.

 

There is also the fact he used the car from testing, while Russell had a new unit. Due to the car's delicate nature having older parts seems had an impact more on RK than on George. I don't know what the heck is the problem with the "tired" parts, we are not in the aerospace where the systems have a calculated limited lifespan for safety reasons. Sure they make things thinner in order to shave the weight but in case of Williams it is extreme. Both drivers were instructed not to ride the kerbs, now the question is if GR and RK avoided the kerbs to the same degree ?

 

All i know Kubica is now aware there exists an operating window this car likes plus hopefully less problems with parts availability so I'm predicting a completely different story in Bahrain, big bounce.

 

I've seen old Williams documentaries on Discovery (mid noughties) that they carefully file each part with how many km's it has done, how many races and how the stat is. If it is too old, it gets discarded. I wonder if those times are lengthened now.



#237 statman

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 13:51

For JV it took half a season before he had some what the upper hand on Massa, after being away for one year. For Schumacher, he never got the upper hand on Rosberg, after being away for three years. It will take Robert some time to get up to speed, if he ever does, after being away for what 8 years? It is normal and to be expected. Williams should have probably gone with Marcus Ericsson.

 

Taking on Ericsson would've made too much sense. Why take a solid and sober Ericsson with all the relevant experience if you can take a guy with a handicap who has been out of F1 for almost a decade?!?!

 

Do you not know what Williams is all about these days ($$$$)?

 

:smoking:



#238 tghik

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 15:45

I've seen old Williams documentaries on Discovery (mid noughties) that they carefully file each part with how many km's it has done, how many races and how the stat is. If it is too old, it gets discarded. I wonder if those times are lengthened now.

In automobile industry they use supercomputers to calculate the time it would take to damage some critical parts, and according to that the guarantee period is selected, slightly longer than that calculated. That's what US carmakers were doing before 2008 crisis in order to have people spend their money, maximizing the profit. It backfired on them because the rest o the world produced cars with better reliability and people were turning away. Anyway, they must be doing the same thing here in F1, but what really surprised me was how short the practical lifespan of some parts in Williams cars it turned out to be. I don't know if they were going for broke in their attempt to save the weight, or somebody incompetent made mistakes.



#239 Paco

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 15:51

The more I see them and think of it, Kubica is just one cog.. I think their problems are very much worse then any physical issue of Kubica and this coming from someone who feels Kubica shouldnt be in that seat.

 

There's others that bring money.

There's others that have raced within the last 2 years that could be in that seat. 

 

However, the fundamental issue at Williams isn't the drivers irregarless of who they are. That was beyond clear this weekend.

 

I can not from outside even begin to guess if its aero, chassis, production, correlatioin department (between cfd-aero-track), gearbox yadda yadda - especially not being a designer or engineer.  I just can't help but think of the lost Apple years when Job was dismissed and how poor they faired (and many similar companies have done the same) and how its not one man, one mans vision but a stubbornness to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result that is causing Williams trials today.. of which no one coming in can address by a hiring - especially at a Family owned business that means reworking their long standing tradition.   Renault still face similar aspect but they seem to have a willingness to try something different, as did Honda..

 

Time will tell if Williams are willing to evolve.


Edited by Paco, 19 March 2019 - 15:53.


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#240 cromofo

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 15:53

Looking at the stint on softs, to say RK was laughable and slow is simply untrue. Slower than GR on average during the race? Yeah, it's not surprising considering the circumstances. However, it doesn't look near as bad as some suggested. 

 

hruvqf5ui2n21.png


Edited by cromofo, 19 March 2019 - 15:54.


#241 AlexPrime

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 16:46

The more I see them and think of it, Kubica is just one cog.. I think their problems are very much worse then any physical issue of Kubica and this coming from someone who feels Kubica shouldnt be in that seat.

 

There's others that bring money.

There's others that have raced within the last 2 years that could be in that seat. 

 

However, the fundamental issue at Williams isn't the drivers irregarless of who they are. That was beyond clear this weekend.

 

I can not from outside even begin to guess if its aero, chassis, production, correlatioin department (between cfd-aero-track), gearbox yadda yadda - especially not being a designer or engineer.  I just can't help but think of the lost Apple years when Job was dismissed and how poor they faired (and many similar companies have done the same) and how its not one man, one mans vision but a stubbornness to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result that is causing Williams trials today.. of which no one coming in can address by a hiring - especially at a Family owned business that means reworking their long standing tradition.   Renault still face similar aspect but they seem to have a willingness to try something different, as did Honda..

 

Time will tell if Williams are willing to evolve.

You're are overthinking it, IMO. I find it plausible that Strolls did not pay all their bills and Kubica's backers were not in a hurry to do so. IMO Williams look like a very undefunded team. I hope that they can make progress and still believe that not all is lost.



#242 Paco

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 17:44

You're are overthinking it, IMO. I find it plausible that Strolls did not pay all their bills and Kubica's backers were not in a hurry to do so. IMO Williams look like a very undefunded team. I hope that they can make progress and still believe that not all is lost.

 

Yes.. but that doesn't address the simple fact they fielded 2 cars that were new and yet, irregardless of parts, lack of testing.. they are simply too slow with the best PU package at Australia.  So even if aero is weak but can't be that weak.. can't be engine.  Leaves Gearbox (Can't believe its that that that far back) so it has to be under the skin of the car.  I find it hard to believe a few bucks are making the car that slow on suspension side.. Granted, I can not phatom how F1 spends the money they do (exception being the Engine part of the manufacturers)...

 

How much can it possibly cost for a few control arms, shocks etc..to me it's that they are missing a trick suspenion setup and not sure if that is simply due to stubborness or money..



#243 GoldenEra

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 18:44

https://twitter.com/...072299821977600

the gasly-kubica contact.

#244 MadYarpen

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 18:53

https://twitter.com/...665134636412928

He actually had a good start considering he was on hards.

 

Initially I thought he drove into Gasly when entering turn one, but then it was ok. after that I think he did nothing wrong, just bad luck. Gasly was avoiding McLaren there.


Edited by MadYarpen, 19 March 2019 - 18:53.


#245 GiorgioF1

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 22:02

The only meaningful stint was the second one when both drivers were on softs and had mostly no traffic. KUB's first stint was riddled with blue flags and slowing down to let other cars pass. The 2nd stint was actually very, very good and a lot of people are simply wrong thinking that KUB's race pace was slow (keep in mind that he had chunk of his diffuser missing, had a lot of damage on the floor because the front his front wind was stuck under the nose and later it's bits it went under the floor damaging it in the process and the team put on the previously worn out front wing that they didnt want to race with) - he was on Russell's pace if not quicker during their 2nd stint despite driving a compromised car - let that sink in for a moment.

After 8 year away from racing KUB had a very good start on hard tyres, getting in front of Russell on mediums and being at least as quick as a current F2 champion Russell during his long stint on softs who was actively racing just a few months ago. This is a derust period for Kubica.

 

FgaUW8L.jpg



#246 tghik

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 22:45

This ^

The worry I have for Kub is that the team will want to test new ideas, as no real testing is available it has to be done during the race weekend. Given the fact Kubica is better technically, the engineers will want to delegate that task to RK. While George says at some occasions he is not there to fight Robert, his smiling face after the race after being second last and finally admitting he is happy to beat his teammate, it's obvious what his goal is. Well in the worst car all that is left i to beat your teammate right ? I just don't want Kubica to become a guinea pig, they should share the load equally.



#247 Clatter

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Posted 19 March 2019 - 23:54

This ^

The worry I have for Kub is that the team will want to test new ideas, as no real testing is available it has to be done during the race weekend. Given the fact Kubica is better technically, the engineers will want to delegate that task to RK. While George says at some occasions he is not there to fight Robert, his smiling face after the race after being second last and finally admitting he is happy to beat his teammate, it's obvious what his goal is. Well in the worst car all that is left i to beat your teammate right ? I just don't want Kubica to become a guinea pig, they should share the load equally.

 


Why is it a fact that Kubica is better technically?

#248 cromofo

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 01:07

Why is it a fact that Kubica is better technically?

Both Lowe and Claire had said that his technical knowledge and experience are a big benefit for the team. To quote Claire Williams: ''The knowledge he has is phenomenal, he could be a technical director''. She could've said it a bit in jest but it's not to be taken lightly, since Robert has always been praised for his contribution and heavy involvement in car development before his accident and looks like he's still technically sharp to this day.

 

I sincerely doubt George has better technical knowledge than Robert. But yeah, maybe not a fact, but it certainly is to be assumed and with good reason.


Edited by cromofo, 20 March 2019 - 01:11.


#249 Baddoer

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 05:51

Ralf bashing Williams management style pretty hard in a press.



#250 statman

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Posted 20 March 2019 - 10:11

Both Lowe and Claire had said that his technical knowledge and experience are a big benefit for the team. To quote Claire Williams: ''The knowledge he has is phenomenal, he could be a technical director''. She could've said it a bit in jest but it's not to be taken lightly, since Robert has always been praised for his contribution and heavy involvement in car development before his accident and looks like he's still technically sharp to this day.

 

I sincerely doubt George has better technical knowledge than Robert. But yeah, maybe not a fact, but it certainly is to be assumed and with good reason.

 

from the school of 'of course we praise our current drivers', last year:

 

Paddy Lowe, chief technical officer, added: “We have conducted a rigorous and exhaustive driver evaluation process. Ultimately, Sergey Sirotkin impressed the team with his driving pace and talent, technical feedback and work ethic, both at the factory and trackside in Abu Dhabi.

 

 

So what changed in a year? $$$ changed.