Haas and Alfa Romeo talk about Williams getting good points in F1 Hungarian GP, and how it changes things for the second half.
After Silverstone, the battle for eighth in the F1 standings read as – Alfa Romeo (2), Williams (0), Haas (0) – but after Hungaroring, it became – Williams(10), Alfa Romeo (3) Haas (0). For the British outfit, the result in Hungarian GP must have felt as good as their first Grand Prix win at Silverstone, back in 1979.
In hindsight, Williams did get lucky to a large extent owing to the Turn 1 incident at Hungaroring, but they are on the board now having overtaken Alfa Romeo and Haas. The American outfit is now the only constructor without a point and lying bottom. They wont want to finish there of course as nobody wants to be deemed to be the worst.
For much of the season, they were fighting with Williams, with Alfa Romeo just ahead of both but now things are a little different. Their target now would be to score a point for starters and chase after the Swiss team for ninth. But the team boss, Guenther Steiner, is not looking at it from that way, where he remains realistic about their chances.
“The chances are very low, I’m very realistic you know about these things but I mean
Williams didn’t expect to make the points they made,” said Steiner to media including FormulaRapida.net. “They did a good job and ended up in a good place at the right time and that’s how racing happens.
“You always have to try to do your best, so they were there at Hungaroring when
there was something, some points given away and that’s what they did but I’m not
banking that we get more points than them,” summed up Steiner. Considering the no development plan of Haas, he does not want to set the bar too high.
However, because of the significance of the Williams result, they have gone 10 points behind. Down the lower end, it is a big gap. For Haas it is now a step by step race by race to score a point or more and then see if they can overhaul Alfa Romeo for starters.
Speaking of them, they got lucky too in light of Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification moving Kimi Raikkonen up to 10th in the points, but were eventually overhauled by Williams and now lie ninth in the standings in a battle to avoid being last. It is a headache for team’s technical head, Xavi Pujolar, but it’s not over until the flag drops in Abu Dhabi.
“It will be not easy, but I think it’s possible,” said Pujolar to written media. “We’ll try. I think at the end of the day it would have been much worse from where they were at the beginning, so I’m still happy about it. We wanted to have both cars in Q2 in Hungary, we wanted to have both cars in front of the Williams, so we achieved that.
“On lap one everything is just gone but still we had a chance there. Then they are both ahead, and both of our cars have a penalty. That was even more challenging. But now the difference in points, I think it’s not huge and we’ve still got a lot of races to do, so I think we can do that. I think under normal racing conditions, we could not achieve it in one go, but if we have still multiple races to go, then this is achievable.
“We have got many races to do yet, and I think if we can put both cars in Q2 after the shutdown, we can do that probably. On a few occasions I think we can score points. I would say it would be more difficult for Williams to score points. I think there are no specific tracks.
“I think in most tracks, we can perform reasonably well if we have both drivers in Q2. I think we can maintain that and maintain that on tracks where you run maximum downforce, in tracks where the efficiency level is a bit higher. I don’t see any particular track layout to be doing that from Spa up to the end of the season,” he summed up.
Pujolar recognises the fact that in a way Williams did get lucky but everyone needs luck now and then. Alfa Romeo now have in retrospect three targets, firstly to get their cars into Q2 with regularity starting in Spa. Secondly, they will strive to keep Haas behind them for as much as possible and thirdly they have another target insofar as catch Williams for eighth.
The story was written by Neil Farrell
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