Q&A with Williams Sam Michael 15 Jun 2010
Although Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg failed to score any points at last weekends Canadian Grand Prix, Williams technical director Sam Michael was satisfied to see the new parts they used in Montreal had improved the car's pace. Michael reviews the race and looks ahead to the next event in Valencia
Q: Please sum up the performance of the FW32 in Montreal
Sam Michael: We saw a marked performance improvement with the car in Canada, as demonstrated by the times the drivers achieved in qualifying and during the race. We raced all of the aero upgrade parts we took to Canada, including the front wing, diffuser and brake ducts, and they worked as expected.
Q: You introduced a new front wing over the weekend. Did that bring any specific performance benefits?
SM: The new front wing gave us more downforce around Montreal, and it will stay on the car for Valencia.
Q: How much work did the team put into the low downforce package that it ran in Canada?
SM: We ran a couple of programmes in the wind tunnel to get the most efficient iteration of the rear wing. To be honest, the rear wing is the main difference for low drag tracks now with the top bodywork being so clean due to the rules.
Q: Why do you think the tyre degradation was so bad at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this year?
SM: Tyre degradation at Montreal was caused by graining. This sometimes occurs when grip levels are very low which makes it difficult to generate load and therefore sufficient temperature in the tyre. Every team had similar problems though.
Q: Brakes usually take a pounding in Canada. Did you have any problems, other than those experienced by Rubens Barrichello as a result of accident damage?
SM: We didnt experience any problems with the brakes, although Rubens did suffer with a long pedal which reduced his braking efficiency. This was caused by overheating following the damage sustained to the front wing.
Q: The drivers made seven pit stops between them during the race. Please explain the reasons for the unplanned stops.
SM: Rubens had one unplanned stop due to his accident with Alguersuari. Nico (Hulkenberg) had an extra stop due to his accident with Sutil. Nicos third trip through the pit lane wasn't for a pit stop; it was a drive-through penalty incurred for speeding in the pit lane during his second stop.
Q: Hulkenberg was closer to Barrichello this weekend. In what areas did he take a step forward in Canada?
SM: Things are coming together for Nico now so it's getting a lot closer between the two of them. It's a great combination of youth and experience which will yield results as the cars pace improves.
Q: The team has an upgrade package scheduled for the next race in Valencia. How do you expect it to perform?
SM: Our next major upgrade is planned for release at the British Grand Prix after Europe. For Valencia, we will be taking the blown rear wing with us to test again.