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Post-Germany Q&A with Williams' Sam Michael 26 Jul 2010

Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 23 July 2010 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Williams FW32. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday, 25 July 2010 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Saturday, 24 July 2010 Williams FW32 diffuser detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Saturday, 24 July 2010

It was another promising but ultimately frustrating weekend for Williams in Germany, with both Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg making the Q3 cut in qualifying, only to be stymied in the race by poor starts. Technical director Sam Michael reviews the events of Hockenheim and looks forward to this coming weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix…

Q: How did the inclement weather on Friday and Saturday morning affect your preparations for a dry race?
Sam Michael:
It did have some bearing in that we had some new parts that we wanted to test but couldn’t due to the bad weather. We will now run them in Budapest. Everything else, including work on set-up, tyres and cooling, was covered off in Friday afternoon’s session.

Q: The FW32 featured more updates at Hockenheim. What were they and how did they affect performance?
SM:
We had revised diffusers on both cars this weekend. They worked well and demonstrably improved both drivers’ lap times.

Q: For the second time in three races you had both cars in Q3, but neither could match their Q2 times. Why was that?
SM:
Both cars had great runs in Q2. Off the back of that, we thought we could achieve seventh and eighth in Q3. However, both Rubens’ and Nico’s Q3 times were compromised by too much understeer towards the end of their fastest laps, so we only managed eighth and tenth places.

Q: Both drivers made poor starts. Was that simply down to being on the dirty side of the grid, or did they have technical issues?
SM:
It was a combination of the two. Both drivers were on the dirty side of the grid while our overall ability to get off the line was impeded. We didn't have any technical issues per se, so we need to work hard to improve our starts.

Q: Nico stayed on the super-soft tyre until lap 34. How did the rubber hold up and, in hindsight, was it the best strategy for him?
SM:
Nico did a long opening stint, perhaps a couple of laps too long. We had nothing to lose running him on that strategy because he was going to drop out of the points anyway. We took the risk of a longer stop in case of a safety car event, which would have benefited him, but that never materialised.

Q: Looking ahead to Hungary, what can we expect from the FW32?
SM:
We have some further upgrades for Hungary. The team are working hard to bring continual improvements to the cars for each and every race. We will have the same target that we’ve had all season - both cars in the top ten in qualifying and points for both at the end of the race.