George Russell does not expect Williams to be competitive at the upcoming two races on power-sensitive tracks because his Formula 1 car is the “draggiest on the grid”. 

The next two rounds at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza place high demand on power unit performance, something which theoretically should play to the strengths of Williams’ Mercedes engine. 

But Russell believes his team will actually struggle more in Belgium and Italy due to having a particularly draggy FW43 car. 

“Even though we have the strongest engine in the back, we are by far the draggiest car on the grid,” Russell explained.

“That is why you’ve seen us go really strong in Budapest in the last two years because it is not a power-sensitive circuit as such. Even though we have a lot of power, we’re not really utilising it because we have so much drag on the car.

“Compared to the Racing Point and the Mercedes we are a huge margin, amount of speed, down on them, purely because the car is so draggy. 

“So even though on paper you think, well, we have a Mercedes, we should be flying in Spa and Monza, it’s not the case because unfortunately aerodynamically we have a really poor efficiency in the car. That will actually make it pretty tough for us.”

Speaking about the challenges of the Spa circuit, Williams’ head of vehicle performance Dave Robson, added: “Trading downforce and drag to balance performance across the three sectors is key to success here, with S1 and S2 rewarding low drag but S2 containing a series of demanding corners that need high downforce. 

"Teams will try different compromises and will watch what their competitors are doing before settling on a solution.” 

Williams currently occupies last place in the 2020 constructors’ championship and is yet to score a point from the opening six rounds, though it is just two points adrift of eighth-placed Alfa Romeo.