Williams has explained a wheel nut retainer issue triggered George Russell’s crash at the Russian Grand Prix, while reasoning numerous crash damages were the cause behind retiring Robert Kubica’s car during the race.

After one of Kubica’s sponsors questioned why the Polish driver was requested to retire from the Russian Grand Prix, Williams has confirmed it was a tactic to preserve car parts due to “the amount of accident damage sustained in the Singapore-Russian back-to-back races” as it looks to protect is current parts ahead of the upcoming races.

Kubica’s retirement was triggered by Russell’s crash during the Sochi race due to a fault with a wheel nut retainer which caused the British driver to lock-up under braking.

“We found an issue with the wheel nut retainer on George’s car, which led to the front-right wheel not sitting perfectly. This caused a lock-up under braking,” Dave Robson, Williams senior race engineer, said. “The design is very mature and well-proven. The remaining inventory will be inspected thoroughly, and we do not anticipate a repeat of the issue.

“Unfortunately, we were forced to retire Robert’s car due to the amount of accident damage we sustained in the Singapore-Russia back-to-back races in order to protect ourselves going into the next events.

“The team has worked extremely hard to ensure race quantities have improved ahead of Japan and the final races.”

The issue continues Williams’ difficult 2019 F1 campaign having missed the start of pre-season testing due to delays over car parts and construction. It led to Paddy Lowe leaving Williams as technical chief while the team has been frequently battling with limited parts this year.

 

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