Williams Racing’s George Russell says his learning of the 2019 F1 tyres was his biggest takeaway from the season for 2020.
There’s a learning curve to all things, but especially in regards to F1. For Williams’ Russell, however, one element of his debut season stuck out particularly as a learning point: tyres. It is one of the crucial elements in current scheme of things.
Russell explained how it was difficult to get into terms with the right tyre window. Considering the pace of Williams, the British driver had limited window as he always had to get it right, otherwise, he would lag behind his teammate Robert Kubica.
With one year experience, Russell hopes that the learning from 2019 F1 season will carry through to next year – where the tyres remain the same – when his extra insight may assist him in getting the tires to work properly, and thus, gaining performance.
“I think, you know, F1 is so complex, especially with the tyres,” started Russell, when asked by FormulaRapida.net. “It’s all about these tyres and I’ve probably only been really really satisfied with a quality lap or a race on a handful of occasions.
“And, most of the time, that’s only been because the tyres have been in the good window, and [it] gave me the opportunity to do a good lap, and that’s the biggest thing I’ve learnt from this year, is getting these tyres working.
“I now have a year of experience of understanding these tyres, and what it takes to get them working well. And, that’s what I want to optimize [in 2020], because I know when I get them working well, I can do the job.
“But getting them working well is like trying to complete a rubik’s cube.” What Rusell felt was something which even experienced drivers faltered in as initially, most wanted to revert to a different spec, which eventually fell through as they didn’t get the vote.
For Russell, even though, he had some experience in F2 with the Pirelli tyres, but the British racer said it was only minimal. “It helped a little bit, but F1’s a completely different ball game,” he said. “So, it’s tricky. It’s not just for me, it’s for every driver.”
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The story was written by Duncan Leahy and edited by Darshan Chokhani