Williams' George Russell highly optimistic over the team's 2020 chances

Williams driver, George Russell. Image: TeamTalk
Williams driver, George Russell. Image: TeamTalk

Only the first week of pre-season testing is complete, but George Russell thinks there is "no way" Williams are as far off their rivals as in 2019.

The team wanted to make a point by being the first on-track when pre-season testing ahead of the 2020 season got underway – and they did exactly that with Russell kicking off the action.

This was a huge leap forward from the situation two years ago when Williams failed to have their car ready for the first two days of testing.

Williams would notch up 324 laps during the three days of testing in week one, while, courtesy of Russell, they also lapped at a pace that put them within the midfield pack.

And although it wouldn't be too wise to use testing as a marker of where teams are for pure performance, Russell definitely thinks it shows that his team have made an improvement already on 2019.

Already an improvement

Russell is quoted by Autosport: "There's no way we'll be as far off the pace as we were last year. Last year on average we were one second behind (and) you can say that all the other teams at least have found three tenths – so for us to be fighting we need to have found at least that amount.

"If we can achieve what we're aiming for then I think it'll be a great job, which is to be fighting with other teams. But we just need to see – next week will be a better understanding but realistically, Melbourne is the time everybody will know where they stand."

READ: Interesting? Williams launches 2020 F1 car in ‘unceremonious’ fashion

Aero correlation tests were the order of the day for Russell for most of his two mornings of testing, saying this was because Williams had brought "loads of aero items" to try and "see if everything's correlating versus the windtunnel, versus CFD and how it's working on the track".

Russell added: "We did loads of rake running [on the second] morning. I don't know the results from (that) yet, but it's very beneficial and it's what's needed in these early days. It wasn't the perfect day (on Thursday), but I think it'll be productive in the long run."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Who should have replaced Sergio Perez at this weekend's British GP?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Sebastian Vettel - At least he'll get a taste of what the 2021 car will be like
26% - 552 votes
Nico Hulkenberg - He's been with the team before
27% - 575 votes
Fernando Alonso - A true racer, and the fastest Spaniard around
33% - 700 votes
Jenson Button - Any team can benefit from a champion driver
13% - 278 votes