Dave Robson expands on the problems faced by Williams with regards to its gearbox and also the engines as we move towards the business end of 2021 F1 season.
The F1 Mexico GP was a nervous one for Williams especially on George Russell’s side, who not only had a gearbox trouble but his engine had to be changed as well from the pool. It was Brit’s race gearbox and due to cost cap restrictions they have to carry limited number.
“We had a couple of little unrelated issues with George’s gearbox in Mexico, we aren’t yet sure exactly what the cause was, so they were both slightly different issues,” said Robson speaking to media including FormulaRapida.net. “Not much more to say in detail.
“In a way we were fortunate because we fitted a spare which was actually his race gearbox so at least it failed in FP2 rather than Friday or Saturday. In a ideal situation you would, but at the same time, particularly with future cost cap restrictions, you’ve got to weigh up how many gearbox’s you want to ship around the world.
“How many you want to make in the first place, how many spares you want to carry so to be fair we normally suffer so few gearbox problems that we’re fairly comfortable bringing race boxes as spares. There were some spare internal stuff in Mexico, the gearbox that George ran in FP1 was made up with a new set of parts and was available as a spare and there’s some extra stuff coming out from the UK to go to Brazil.
“It really is just a case of balancing risk on this occasion, we would have rather had another one with us but weighing everything us, the risk with the gearbox, it’s not worth the trade we don’t think,” summed up Robson, as he then spoke about why they were forced to change the engine on Russell’s car – from his pool.
“We don’t think so, we knew that the power unit in George’s car was getting towards the end of its life, we felt that it was good value to use it here in Mexico,” said Robson. “It ran, well not much on Friday because of the gearbox issue, but it ran without any problem and we went through it all last night and it looked perfectly healthy.
“But when we repeated those checks at the end of FP3, there was something on the data that we weren’t happy with, so we decided to swap it out in case it were to cause us problems later in the weekend. It was precautionary, it’ll go back to HPP, and will be checked more thoroughly, it may yet come back, but in any case a power unit that has gone in that has already raced in four races it should be able to see us through the remaining races so we’re not expecting to take anymore penalties.”
As the season gets towards the business end and an era ending with the current cars, it is a challenge for F1 teams to maintain fatigue levels since production is working on the 2022 parts mostly. “Everything is within life, particularly the parts – like front wing, rear wing, floor – listed there,” said Robson when asked by FormulaRapida.net.
“It’s pretty serious if they fail so no they’re all within life and will see us through to the end of the year unless there’s any incidents or contact so no issues there. And yes we’ve got to pull of the parts now that we made when we had the capacity earlier in the year, we’re using those up now and resources are all going towards next year.”
Here’s George Russell colliding with Daniel Ricciardo