RaceFans Round-up: Williams will rebound from “slow start”

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In the round-up: Williams team principal James Vowles says they are poised to make strides in the coming races after their double retirement in Canada.

In brief

Vowles takes “solace” after double retirement

Vowles admitted it was “painful” to see rivals Alpine take three points after his drivers Logan Sargeant and Alexander Albon retired in crashes, the latter after being hit by Carlos Sainz Jnr. However he said he takes “solace” from the team’s performance across a variety of tracks.

“We’ve been to Monaco, which is the track with the highest level of downforce that needs a strong balance and we were competitive,” he said in a video published by the team. “We’ve now gone to a track where actually it’s the complete opposite end of the spectrum, the downforce comes off the car, and yet we’re competitive and [ran] in the points.”

He expects the team to make gains from further upgrades they will introduce over the coming rounds. “We have performance coming across the next few races that will start adding up and allow us to move forward relative to field. It’s been a slow start to the season, but there’s every reason to be positive about the remainder of the season in front of us.”

Power considered retirement when wife fell ill

Will Power admitted he considered retiring from racing when his wife Liz fell seriously ill last year. She has since recovered and last weekend Power scored his first victory since he won the IndyCar championship for the second time two years ago.

“When that was going on, you start thinking should I be racing at all,” he said. “If something happens to Liz and something happens to me, is she going to get better, what’s going to happen? The doctor said this can come back at any time. Should I be racing? That was the thing that was planted in my mind last year.

“You certainly don’t perform at your highest level because you don’t want your son to have no parents. That is sort of the thing you’re thinking. [It was] tough wrestling with that. Ultimately, if she wasn’t getting better, I would stop. I would have to stop for my son. Simple as that.”

Power believes he’s “a better driver again this year than I was in ’22 when I won the championship.”

“Last year was sort of a stall-out,” he continued. “Not much I could do. Spending a lot of time at home, looking after Liz, making sure everything was going well for her. She is a big part of my preparation. She does a lot for me. We’re back as a team again.”

Sauber boosts technical division by hiring Sordo

Sauber, the only team yet to score a point this year, has hired Stefano Sordo to the new role of performance director. Sordo, who was previously technical director at IndyCar team RLL, will report to Sauber’s technical director James Key.

Sauber Group CEO Andreas Seidl said Sordo “knows what a winning squad needs, brings a wealth of experience to the team and, with the different array of roles he played in the past, he is perfectly placed to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of our technical operations, and address what is required.

“We have a strong technical team in Hinwil and Stefano’s appointment will help us to harness these skills and turn them into performance as we continue in this crucial time for our outfit, with the Audi F1 works team being readied for its debut.”

Canadian GP track invasion lands promoter in trouble

The promoter of the Canadian Grand Prix, Octane Racing Group, has accepted blame after a “large group of spectators” broke onto the track while cars were still circulating at the end of Sunday’s race.

The promoter “agreed that this was an unacceptable situation” said the stewards. It has agreed to “present a formal remediation plan to the FIA” addressing the security lapse by the end of September.

“The stewards reinforce the fact that the paramount goal needs to be to prevent the reoccurrence of such an incident and make it clear that a significant financial penalty will be imposed in case of any reoccurrence,” they added.

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