Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe admitted their poor performance at Singapore came as a shock after their double points finish at Monza.
Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin qualified on the back row of the grid for this weekend’s race, over 1.3 seconds slower than the next-slowest car. Lowe admitted their fall from grace had taken them by surprise.
“We had a pretty encouraging race in Monza with pretty respectable pace as you saw we were actually racing on Sunday with the cars around us,” he said. “So it’s a bit of a shock to come here and be so off the pace. Quite a bit of daylight between us and the cars ahead.”
Lowe believes the characteristics of the Singapore track are exacerbating the deficiencies of the FW41.
“It’s something specific around this track that we need to understand and see why that’s particularly affected. I’m sure there’ll be some good learning from that.
“My suspicion is this circuit is a very extreme circuit in many respects, probably got the highest absolute grip of the year with the softest tyre. So anything that is wrong with the car will get amplified around here and I think that’s what we’ve seen today. The good news is that’s valuable information to work with.”
The team should be closer to the pace in the race, Lowe added. “Our long run pace yesterday was more respectable. I think we can hopefully compete, albeit starting from the back, with some of the cars that are ahead of us.
“And you know what the races here is, probably one of the highest attrition of the season with the length of it and the conditions and the duty on the driver. We will absolutely not give up at this stage and see what we can do with it.”
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