George Russell says Williams and Mercedes both struggle in windy conditions, but expects them to perform better “at races in the near future”.
The new 2021 Formula 1 rules are favouring high-rake cars (like Red Bull and Ferrari) over those using low-rake designs (like Mercedes and Williams). Mercedes has already said that it would be impossible to switch concepts in the middle of the season, so the team needs to do the best it can with what it has.
Williams faces a similar situation. Although George Russell confirms the concept cannot be changed now, he believes both Mercedes and Williams will perform better in less windy races.
“Something as substantial as that would require a complete re-design, which obviously we’ve not done,” the Briton explained.
“It’s what we’ve got, it’s what a lot of teams have got. Time will tell, but I believe that potentially Mercedes are in the same boat.
“They probably struggled this weekend more than you’ll see them struggle at races in the near future.
“Red Bull, and the likes of Alfa Romeo, were more competitive relative to the field than we’ll see in races to come.
“When you’re driving around at 300 km/h, 50 km/h wind makes a difference. You can imagine at 50 km/h, it’s with like gusts of 60, 70 km/h.
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However, Williams and Mercedes’ performance could improve in the very next race at Imola.
“[Imola is] very different to Bahrain, so you’ve got two ends of the spectrum,” Russell said.
“Bahrain, you’ve got a lot of slow-speed corners, very exposed, generally very windy. Imola is high speed corners, the angle of those corners are less.
“There are more 90 degree corners as opposed to 180 degree corners. It is very enclosed with all the trees and the buildings around, so we’re going to extremes really.
“Not necessarily saying Imola is in the top end, but it’s probably in the top half [of circuits suited for Williams], let’s say.”