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Head planning regular podium visits in 2008 05 Mar 2008

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Williams FW30 Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, 14 February 2008. World © Patching/Sutton Patrick Head (GBR) Williams Director of Engineering.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 18 October 2007

After their fourth-place finish in last year’s constructors’ championship, Williams’ engineering director Patrick Head believes his team can go from strength to strength this season with regular top-three race finishes.

Lead driver Nico Rosberg, starting his third campaign with the team, will be joined by Japanese newcomer Kazuki Nakajima and it’s a youthful combination that Head thinks can bring Williams serious results.

“The driver line up will not be as experienced as might be expected for a team competing for a championship,” he said. “However, we intend to be regular podium visitors in 2008.”

The new FW30 has looked impressive in testing, prompting media speculation that Williams could be the leading team behind Ferrari and McLaren this year. However, Head insisted that this can only be judged after the opening race in Australia.

“It is too early to say where we will be in the pecking order,” he said. “It looks as if Ferrari and McLaren have made strong progress from 2007, BMW have a car that seems quick and Renault have made progress, I am sure some of which is coming from the cockpit with Alonso back at the helm.

“Red Bull are beginning to look stronger and Toro Rosso are making the best of a car that they are familiar with, they certainly cannot be dismissed. We have certainly made progress, but we will not see where we stand until after the season starts.”

Williams scored one podium finish last year, a third place for Alex Wurz at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.