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Trouble-free first day for new Williams 19 Jan 2009

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Williams FW31 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Autodromo Algarve, Portimao, Portugal, Monday 19 January 2009. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Williams FW31 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Autodromo Algarve, Portimao, Portugal, Monday 19 January 2009. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Williams FW31 Formula One Testing, Day Two, Autodromo Algarve, Portimao, Portugal, Monday 19 January 2009.

Although rain at Algarve Motor Park limited running for everyone testing at the Portuguese circuit on Monday, Williams declared themselves satisfied following their 2009 car’s debut. The British team’s FW31 - in interim winter livery - was launched in the morning and subsequently covered 17 laps in the hands of tester Nico Hulkenberg.

“This morning has been full wet, but the weather hasn’t really affected what we wanted to do, because our goal has been to get the car out on track, check all the systems work, be sure parts aren’t touching each other, nothing is burning, and that’s all proved to be okay,” explained technical director Sam Michael.

“It would be good to get some dry running, and the weather should allow this later in the week. In terms of first impressions of the car, we of course haven’t spent any time on set-up or performance work yet, that’ll all come later, but so far the car is running fine.”

Although the wet conditions and his lack of familiarity with the Portuguese circuit made it difficult for him to draw firm conclusions about the FW31, Hulkenberg was pleased with his first run.

“Straight away the new car feels okay, I feel comfortable in it and for a new car, we have also had a trouble-free morning technically, which is important,” said the German. “Of course everyone will want to know how it compares to the 2008 car and what the impact of the rule changes are from a driver’s point of view.

"In truth, I cannot say too much after a few laps, because the track is 100 per cent new to me, I have never run here and also it is pretty wet, so I have no baseline for comparison - if we were at Jerez or Barcelona in the dry, I could be a little more specific.

"But the important thing for today is simply to make sure we run through all the checks of the basic systems on the car and confirm everything is working as it should. So far that is the case and we can be happy.”

Williams are expected to continue to test at the Algarve Motor Park until Thursday.