James Vowles believes Williams got its reward for winning a race against time to deliver its updated car to the Canadian Grand Prix, where Alex Albon scored six points.
Williams could only get one upgrade package ready in time for Montreal and Albon ran the updated car, reaching Q3 in changeable conditions and then pulling off a one-stop strategy to finish seventh. Vowles has only been team principal since February but has seen Williams pick up points on two occasions this season, and he said the latest result was hard-earned given how tough it was to prepare the new parts.
“I’m ecstatic for the team,” Vowles told SpeedCity Broadcasting. “The team needed this boost. If I take a step back, everyone saw that we had an update on the car this weekend, but perhaps what many don’t realize is the update is the culmination of weeks and weeks of work.
“In fact this particular one was looking a little bit difficult to get here, but the team pulled together with great teamwork and great work throughout the night for multiple days prior to coming here and delivering it here. To get the reward of points, I think, is just reward for that.”
Explaining just how much Williams had focused on Canada, Vowles said the car showed it was capable of running best of the rest throughout the weekend but just needed strategy to get into that position, and said he wants the team to execute in a similar manner even at venues that don’t suit its car so well.
“If we rewind back to qualifying, not Q2 – which was a magic moment – but Q1, the car was still running about eighth,” he said. “If you look at Q3 on performance, we would have been there or thereabouts for eighth again. It was a mistake at the last chicane unfortunately that cost us, and a red flag that limited the opportunities.
“But the point is, that was a car working well here. Now, we’re realistic. The update is on the car, but this was also a track irrespective of that that was always going to suit our car. There are circuits coming up that will do the same, and some that won’t.
“The update has definitely put us in a position (in Canada) and it’s not a surprise that we’ve targeted it – in fact, we took a new power unit as well, just to really culminate the opportunities that were available to us. But there’s going to be some tracks coming up where we’re not as performant and we have to just focus on delivering clean weekends and pull that odd point that’s available to us still with the car we have now.
“We’re also conscious that other teams will bring a further update. It’ll happen, difficult to tell when – three or four races – and they’ll step forward relative to us. And that’s the game of Formula 1: constant evolution.”