In pre-season testing Williams were one of the most promising teams but their performance in the first four races of the year is a little hard to read.
They are jostling for position in the heart of the midfield where just a few hundredths of a second in qualifying can make the difference between points and no points in the race.
What can we expect from them in Istanbul?
Kazuki Nakajima out-qualified Nico Rosberg for the first time at the Circuit de Catalunya. Was this an uncharacteristically below-par performance from Rosberg or a step forward by his team mate?
I suspect a little more of the former than the latter, as Rosberg was back on it in the race and was on course for seventh place (a decent result from 15th on the grid at the overtaking-free-zone that is Catalunya) when his Toyota engine went pop.
Rosberg was a fine seventh here last year on a day when none of the leading Ferraris, McLarens or BMWs dropped out. These teams are out of reach to Williams and the worry for them now is that Renault might have leap-frogged them as well.
Rosberg has high hopes of the teams’ performance at Istanbul:
I’m looking forward to Turkey. It was our strongest race last year in terms of pace in comparison to the front runners so I think we can do well there. The circuit itself is great and it should suit our car.
But I wonder if Williams are starting to slip behind the chasing pack as they develop their cars faster than Williams can improve the FW30?
F1 Fanatic’s Live Blogs will be running during Saturday practice, qualifying and the Turkish Grand Prix.
4 comments on “2008 Turkish GP preview: Williams”
8th May 2008, 13:15
Sure thing Williams, as a privateer, does not fare well in development pace due to budget constraints, but for a team labelled by so many (including by me as well) as the best of the rest behind Mclaren and Ferrari at the start of the season, they have been utterly disapointing. Maybe the old williams woes like strategy and reliability have hit the team once again just like in the old Montoya and Ralf days or like in previous years like 94 for instance. Back them they had a good racing pace, they could fight for wins but their own internal troubles and/or mishaps denied them more wins. To live right up to what is expected of them, they seem to must have the car miles ahead of the oposition to then get out on top. Surely was because of this that BMW went with a team of their own? Yes, things got more expensive, but in proportion, BMW budget nowadays is more or less the same Williams-BMW of old, right? Because if it is, then BMW fares much better of alone than behind a team that, while having experience, are prone to troubles and over-hyped performace…
8th May 2008, 20:21
Maybe they miss Wurz’s experience setting up cars.
9th May 2008, 0:57
Last Year, everybody was saying the same: Develompent will be weak from Williams, but the Team was as good as everybody //
They had same little problems, in the first few races and the new aero packege, in spain was hard to understand //
I thinks they will be back, on form again and fighting for points //
Gooooood Luck !!
9th May 2008, 3:50
Good point Chris Johnson. Alot has been made about Lewis Hamilton suffering this year due to Alonso not being at McLaren to offer his expertise. Very few people have mentioned how Alex Wurz absence could be behind Nico Rosberg’s dip in form.
Like Hamilton, Rosberg enjoyed a great start to the season in Australia but in the three grands prix that have followed he has not made that much of an impact.
For sure, the Williams would appear to be not as strong a car pace wise as pundits had predicted preseason, and other teams have closed the gap and in some cases overtaken them.
However one should never undervalue experience. Wurz is a very good, knowledgable driver. Just the man you want beside you in testing to get the most from a race car.
I have to say, the arrival of Nakajima at Williams is very well timed, as their cars are powered by Toyota engines. As long as Sir Frank’s blue cars don’t outperform the Toyota factory team, they will be alright. We hope!
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