Williams feeling positive for Melbourne 28 Feb 2008
Williams are in confident for mood the season ahead after the FW30 passed its final winter test with flying colours. Drivers Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima both enjoyed top-five placings during this weeks three-day session at Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya and reliably completed over 2,500 kilometres at the Spanish track.
Weve had a very successful test and run through lots of items, said Rosberg. We also ran the new aero package for Melbourne which really was positive. Reliability-wise, were looking pretty good, I think, weve definitely moved forward. The aero department has made some good progress over the winter and theyve done a nice job.
Rosberg covered 260 laps over the three days and clocked his best time of the week on Wednesday, when he went third quickest with a 1m 21.293s. On top of his faith in the new aerodynamic package, the young German believes the teams Toyota engine is also lending a helping hand.
Toyota has done a good job for us, providing a nicely controlled engine which is an asset with the ban of traction control, he explained. Im now looking forward to getting to Australia. It should be a lot of fun, but its going to be close in the middle of the field so well have to see how we do.
Rosberg's team mate Nakajima was also in action for all three days in Spain. The Japanese drivers best time was a 1m 21.796s, also achieved on Wednesday. Nakajima, who made his race debut with Williams at last October's Brazilian Grand Prix, was similarly pleased with progress.
The test this week in Barcelona has been really positive, he said. Personally, it was good practice for me to do the two race distances we covered as well. I feel ready for the season and Im looking forward to actually racing now. Were certainly heading in the right direction.
Despite the squads strong performance at the Circuit de Catalunya, Williams technical director, Sam Michael, is determined to keep his cards under the table and wait until Melbourne to see how the 2008 car fares.
All of the systems on the FW30 have been checked thoroughly and weve signed off the performance parts ready for the first race, Michael said. The car has completed numerous race simulations on the track, but we wont know its true competitiveness until the first few races. We can't wait to get to Melbourne to see how the field forms up and to get racing again!
Williams will now return to their UK headquarters to carry out last-minute preparations before flying out to Melbourne for March's season opener.