Istanbul debrief with Williams' Sam Michael 10 May 2011
Although Williams managed to record their second two-car finish of the year at Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix, high tyre degradation prevented Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado from claiming any world championship points. The British team's technical director Sam Michael discusses how the weekend in Istanbul unfolded and looks ahead to the forthcoming Spanish event...
Q: How would you sum up the performance of the FW33 at Istanbul Park?
Sam Michael: I think our performance in Istanbul was better than at previous races, particularly in qualifying. However, we are in that area of the midfield where a couple of tenths can make a big difference to finishing position so we need to keep pushing to improve even further.
Q: There were several new parts on the car. What were they, and what impact did they have on performance?
SM: Although we had some new parts, we only raced the new front wing and rear brake ducts. We had some separation issues with the new rear wing so we decided not to race it. We are investigating that now and plan to test it again in Barcelona.
Q: There were 82 pit stops in the race - a new record. Was tyre wear worse than you expected?
SM: The degradation of the tyres was higher than we have seen previously and it was definitely worse than we expected to see in Turkey.
Q: You opted for three pit stops with both drivers in the race. Why was that?
SM: We thought this strategy would work out faster than doing the extra stop required for a four-stop strategy. However, we are harder on our rear tyres than some of the other teams, so in hindsight we may have been better to follow the likes of Renault and gone with a four-stop strategy.
Q: Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado were 12km/h slower than the fastest car through the speed trap. Was there a reason for the car's relative lack of straight-line speed?
SM: The new rear wing we had developed dramatically improved our straight-line speed so we are aiming to get it on the car for the next event.
Q: Barcelona comes next. It's a track Williams tested at over the winter, so what are your hopes for the Spanish Grand Prix?
SM: We will have a new diffuser to test in Barcelona which should give us a decent boost in performance.
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