Instead of racing, Williams F1 car is just “surviving” in the first grand prix of the season, says its driver Lance Stroll.
Stroll struggled his way through the raced and finished at 14th, just ahead of the last running car in the race2020.
Faced with an ongoing balance and cooling issues, the Canadian was thoroughly unsettled in his new car.
“We’re not racing out there at the moment, we are surviving,” said the Canadian.
“The first lap I had a mode problem, for some reason I was in the wrong mode so I had no deployment. I just gave a position to [Esteban] Ocon, with a massive de-rate. That kind of put us on the back foot after the first lap.
“From there onwards, we struggled with pace. The car wasn’t cooperating the way I wanted it to, the balance was all over the place.
“And we had temperature issues the whole race, managing temperatures. So I had to back off, I could never race the car.
“I was always just trying to survive, lift-and-coast, and get the car to the end of the race. That’s costing us massive race time.
Surprisingly, for a Mercedes engine, Stroll said he did not have the modes that he usually has for a race. This may be due to an overheating issue he saw during the free practice on Friday.
“On top of that, I didn’t have as much mode as I would usually have in this race, because of what happened on Friday with the overheating issue.
“The whole weekend we expected issues coming into the race. We knew there’d be a lot of problems. Realistically, it’s tough to point out one issue. There are a lot of things to sort out.”
Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe admitted the race was disappointing for the team and said he believes cooling is an area that needs attention.
“In Lance’s case the pace was very poor,” he said. “Some of it again was following other cars but even in free air at various stages of the race, he was struggling for grip.
“At other stages in the race, particularly towards the end, the car was working well for him. It’s sort of pace variation through the race.
“We had overcooked it slightly on the temperature capacity on the engine. The ambient was warmer [on race day] than we had predicted so it did mean at the end he was making attacks on Leclerc but was not able to sustain them because we had to watch the temperature.
“We need to go and analyse [the race] more, to be honest. We’re disappointed. Those weren’t the grid positions that we would have hoped to achieve.
“Ultimately we need to go and study that in more depth and understand what potential we have and what we realised and what we didn’t realise and why.”