Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2020 – Race

Race Notes

  • George Russell finished 15th and Nicholas Latifi 17th in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
  • George started 16th with Nicholas lining up 18th both on the medium compound
  • George ran a one-stop strategy, pitting on lap 10 for the hard Pirelli tyre under the Virtual Safety Car
  • Nicholas stopped twice during the race, initially on lap 11 during the Safety Car for the hard compound, and once more on lap 35 for the medium Pirelli tyre

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: That we have made it to the end of the 17th race of the season is testament to everyone involved in the sport. It has been difficult at times, but overall, it has been a great success and the nature of the year opened the possibility of racing at some new and exciting circuits. The Team have worked incredibly hard and have had to spend a lot of time away from their families, which is never easy. We enjoyed some good races along the way and made some progress with the car, which should pay dividends when we begin testing in Barcelona next year.

Today we had a decent race and stayed on top of the tricky balancing act of managing tyre and brake temperatures. Both drivers did well and raced hard with Haas and Alfa Romeo. George’s final stint on the Prime tyre was very good and although he wasn’t able to stay with Raikkonen for the whole stint, he did manage the car well and put in a strong performance, keeping Giovinazzi behind and finishing just behind the Ferraris. Nicholas took an extra pit stop in order to cover the two Haas cars, but could also have managed his tyres to the end if his best strategy had required that. His pace was good, and he finished strongly, close to the George-Giovinazzi battle.

Most of the Team will now stay in Abu Dhabi for a few more days to run the cars on Tuesday. Jack and Roy will be back in for a one-day Young Driver Test. Once that final commitment is fulfilled, we can return home for a well-earned rest. We thank everyone, both here and in Grove, for their total commitment throughout the year and in getting us to every race with two reliable cars. We wish everyone a safe, secure and enjoyable Christmas break and we look forward to doing battle again when we return to racing in the New Year.

George Russell: I’m proud of the season we’ve done here at Williams. The team have worked their socks off to make the most of it, it’s been a massive step forward and we have to be grateful for that. It’s still not where we want to be, but everyone is working really hard to improve the car. It’s been an emotional and intense season on and off the track and everyone now gets some well-earned rest. Today, we made the most of it too. It was an optimised race and we did the best we could, keeping some faster cars behind us.

Nicholas Latifi: It was a very difficult Grand Prix, as a team we didn’t have the pace today and we weren’t as competitive as we have been in other races. I was struggling a lot with the balance in the opening stints, but as the race went on it settled down. The last stint was fun putting on a fresh set of medium tyres and pushing flat out to the end. It is a shame as it’s not how we wanted to end this season but coming into this weekend we knew that this track didn’t suit our car. That is my first full season in Formula One done and it’s been a big learning year; I can’t wait to get started next year.

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