Williams are likely to sit out of the post-Abu Dhabi F1 test with no mule car at their disposal and a rookie driver not yet set for one day of running.
With no mule car at their disposal, Williams will certainly not run on both the days of Abu Dhabi post-season testing which will see the teams try out the final version of the 18-inch compound. They could still have one day with the 2021 car and 13-inches tyres.
Post the Abu Dhabi GP, teams will get two days of 18-inches running with their mule car on Tuesday and Wednesday. On the first day, they have the chance to run rookie drivers in their 2021 car with the 13-inches compound which all of the 10 teams are to exercise.
For Williams, since they took the decision to not have a mule car last year due to their limited resources, they have played no part in the 18-inches testing where nine other teams have. It is certainly a disadvantage, but they are keeping their hopes alive.
For now, with no rookie driver set yet, Williams will have nothing to do in Abu Dhabi testing. They still have time to decide a rookie driver, though, for the Tuesday running. “Unfortunately, we won’t be doing anything [for now],” said Dave Robson to media including FormulaRapida.net.
“We won’t be a running a car there as we don’t have a mule car. My understanding is that if you don’t have a mule car, you are not allowed to do the test. We can’t really exercise to put some numbers on it, we know that running a mule car would have been beneficial, but unfortunately at that time we had to commit to that, we just didn’t have resources to do it.
“So, it was a decision that kind of made an awful long time ago, and we are not complaining about it. What we will lose? We will start the winter test, probably a little bit on the backfoot, I would hope that if the car is running well then in the test, hopefully we will catch up. We will like to be in the test, we are not, but we won’t be that far behind, obviously, it is the during races that the drivers will learn more,” summed up Robson.
Considering that Williams will have Alexander Albon in the car next year, the team would have liked to have him in the car in Abu Dhabi, but it is unlikely that the rules will allow since he is not a rookie anymore. They do have the likes of Roy Nissany, Jamie Chadwick and Logan Sargeant to choose from or take any other if needed.
Additionally, Pirelli F1 chief Mario Isola clarified the plans for the days of running, which was touched upon above. “We have two days in total, first day (Tuesday) is together with both 2021 cars with 13-inches tyre with fixed allocation with the rookies together with mule cars on the 18-inches tyres and the race drivers,” he said.
“The second day (Wednesday) is only 18-inches tyres with with the mule cars and no more rookies. Therefore for the Abu Dhabi test, it was decided together with the teams and the FIA that there is fixed allocation covering all the five compounds, so we are homologating and so they have the same amount of tyres.”
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