Williams Esports have completed their fourth, fifth and sixth races of the 2022 Formula One Pro Championship – discover how the team fared in each round below.
Race 4: Austria – Álvaro Carretón and Shanaka Clay
Looking to bounce back after a difficult first event, the team felt confident heading into qualifying at Austria, a track where Álvaro had achieved pole position back in 2020.
In another extremely close qualifying session, Shanaka missed out on Q3 by 0.07 seconds, while Álvaro was denied a Q2 berth by an even finer margin of 0.05s.
As the team took to the race, all drivers were shocked to see the rain pouring down in what would be the first wet weather conditions of the season.
Wet races tend to level out the playing field and it comes down to figuring out the all-important time to transition from the wet tires to the drier compounds.
Both drivers predicted this moment well and were able to stay within touching distance of the main race pack.
The standout move of the day was Álvaro’s late dive up the inside of Matthijs Van Erwen which received plaudits from the F1 commentary team but sadly, both drivers would finish outside of the points.
Alvaro – P12, Shanaka – P18
Race 5: Belgium – Daniele Haddad and Shanaka Clay
Álvaro took a step back for race five, as Daniele and Shanaka took on Spa making it the first time they would drive together this year.
Spa is a venue where it is easy to get your laps invalidated on the F1 22 game. With the team looking on course to get both cars through to Q2 for the first time this season, both drivers fell to the same fate – their final flying laps, which would have seen them qualify in the top 10, were deleted.
Shanaka and Daniele opted for alternate strategies in the race, with the former using the medium tyres to great effect in his opening stint, making up five places in the first lap.
Join the team
Sign up to unlock your very own Driver Card and be one of the first to know about all the latest Williams Racing news and announcements.
His strategy however was ruined by the early pit stop of another driver, and he sadly missed out on the DRS train which would have possibly brought him into contention for the points.
Shanaka – P15, Daniele – P18
Race 6: Zandvoort – Álvaro Carretón and Daniele Haddad
On the hardest track to overtake on the calendar, qualifying is key around the narrow track of Zandvoort.
Drivers across the grid noted that they had never seen a qualifying this close in F1 Esports history, with 17 drivers split by under a tenth in Q1.
Álvaro returned to the line-up with a mission to make it into Q3 and he did exactly that, lining the car up on P5 for the race start after a huge quali lap of 1.09.673, just over a tenth off pole position. Daniele would start the race in P18.
A second wet race of the event left half of the grid on intermediates and the remainder on full wets for the race start. The wet runners would benefit, with Daniele gaining nine places in the opening exchanges, while Álvaro would fall out of the points.
As the track transitioned to the dry, both drivers found themselves battling to gain one or two points for the team, but found themselves just outside of the points at the end of the race.
Álvaro – P12, Daniele – P15
Get your name on the FW44
44 lucky fans will have their name featured at the heart of our FW44 through the United States Grand Prix weekend. Enter now for your chance to win this unique prize.
Seb Hawkins, Williams Esports team manager, summarised Event 2 by sharing: “[It’s been] a disappointing end to the race week where we had so much potential and ultimately solid pace to gain points.
“Too many mistakes in qualifying had a knock-on effect in the races again and prevented us making the top 10.
“It was clear when everything came together we could nail the qualifying as we did in Zandvoort, but we need to work together as a team to reduce mistakes in future qualifying sessions.
“Our focus now is to continue to bring the guys together and improve their performance when under high pressure and I believe with our resources we can have a stronger Event 3."
From our drivers' perspective, Álvaro said: “It has been another tough event for the team, but we have plenty of positives coming from the races.
“We had struggled with qualifying in the earlier rounds, but in Zandvoort, I was happy I could show that I could compete with the best and line up on the third row.
“We know we can do better as a team, and we will bounce back next time out.”
Shanaka continued: “The pace and the strategy were great in the two races I took part in for this week’s race.
“The focus though now has to be on qualifying and making sure we are in the best situation at the start of the race.
“Particularly in Spa, you could see that we had the aggression needed to compete, so in the next event it will be our time to put it all together.”
Daniele concluded our reaction by saying: “[It’s been] another tough week of races, but some great moments which I need to bring into the next event.
“The choice of strategy from myself and the team around Zandvoort was excellent, making up nine places off the start, but it’s now about preparing for all situations with the car and making sure I am performing at the level I know I can perform.”
The next event of the Pro Championship takes place on November 2-4, with races at Monza, Mexico and Austin. After an excellent qualifying in Zandvoort, the team is confident that they can use this momentum to have a better second half of the season.
Williams Racing x Austin
Celebrate the United States Grand Prix in style with our new limited-edition range, inspired by all things Austin.