Williams expect to keep up with Renault

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Williams technical director Sam Michael says he believes his team can conintue to fight with Renault and Mercedes in the final races of 2010.

Here’s what he had to say in a Q&A released by the team:

Q: What’s your reaction to the 20-second penalty given to Nico Hulkenberg following a post-race protest by Force India?
SM: The team accepts the decision made by the FIA stewards.

Q: Aside from that, the Singapore Grand Prix was a positive weekend for AT&T Williams. What’s your assessment of the new parts taken to the race?
SM: Singapore showed that we have made good progress with the FW32. Recent results highlight the fact that we’ve been competitive at a variety of different circuit layouts. That should continue for the remaining races on the calendar.

Q: Nico required a new gearbox on Friday and a new engine just before qualifying. What were the problems with these units?
SM: We had an issue with the differential on Nico’s gearbox after Monza. Changing it cost us a five place penalty on the grid for Singapore. We then had a suspected water leak on the engine we were intending to use for Sunday’s race so we also had to change that, but that didn’t demand a penalty. We will check the engine and the cooling system when the parts return to the UK to establish the causes.

Q: Why did Rubens make such a poor start, and how much was his race compromised by the second Safety Car period?
SM: The initial part of Rubens’ start wasn’t good so he had to take some risks on the first lap to minimise the damage. Fortunately, the second safety car didn’t affect his race at all.

Q: Going forward, do you think the FW32 can take on Renault and Mercedes at every track?
SM: We should be able to match their competitiveness, yes. That is certainly the aim.

Q: What are your expectations for Suzuka, the next race on the calendar?
SM: As it’s been for the past few races, our objective for Japan is to get both cars into the top ten in qualifying and then for both to score points in the race.

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    14 comments on “Williams expect to keep up with Renault”

    1. then forceIndia should kiss goodbye to 6th position;)

      1. Yeah, I don’t think they’re gonna be able to hang onto that. It really does seem like the teams have sort of turned into 4 groups in terms of performance. You have RBR, McLaren, and Ferrari at the top, Mercedes, Renault, and Williams nipping at their heals, Force India, Sauber, and Torro Rosso at the back of the midfield, and the new teams bringing up the rear.

        1. it all comes down to money doesn’t it

        2. I take it as a confirmation that the team that left FI with Smith (after first losing Key to Sauber with little advance notice) hurts the design team at least for this year.

          And Liuzzi is not on it with, he’s struggling to get most out of the F-duct and running into all kinds of troubles as well.

      2. Yes they should, they are one of the most improving team along with Ferrari since the UK GP, seems like experience of Barrichello & the team is finally paying off.

        1. Barrichello does seem to be one of the better drivers at developing a car, doesn’t he?

          1. Yes he is, he have experience working with the best team in the world Ferrari & Brawn GP & he worked with the best engineer Ross Brawn so he can bring a lot of information from his old days & with Williams having some experience people like Sam Michael, Patrick Head & many I think they can come good through the end of the season & may be in 2011.

            1. Remember how the Brawn car suddenly suited Barichello with the Silverstone updates, when all the best technical info comming in his from one man that’s what happens, he certainly better than Button at anyrate.

    2. I love Williams, but holy moly, their Sam Michael Q&A’s are boooring. They give us absolutely nothing….

      1. Me too, Williams are my fav team. Good to see them becoming more competitive.

        You are correct about the interview, yes / no answers would almost be as informative ;-)

    3. US Williams Fan
      29th September 2010, 2:30

      I think Mr. Michael chooses his words carefully and does not want to cause a stir with any of his comments.

      Still – I would like to see more details in his responses!

      Seems like the writer has to pry them out of him.

      1. I think he’s slightly off when he says that his car is going to match the Renault, the differance in front wings makes that point clearer than anything but he’s certainly matching Merc.

    4. Its hardly going to be a grilling by the team’s own media unit. Of course its going to be tame and safe.

      Sure there’s a disappointing lack of information, but you have to remember where its coming from. Wait until he appears in a press conference or similar for the good info.

    5. I’m a big admirer of Williams GP. The last of the true independents. While in recent years, they’ve not been able to throw nearly as much money into their racing enterprise as the “big” teams, they’ve managed to keep drawing and signing sponsors, installing beautiful and well engineered machinery onto the grid, providing real salaries for some first class drivers, and regularly scoring valuable points. I would love to see them kick a little more butt next year, although it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing them on the podium.

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