Singapore debrief with Williams Mark Gillan 26 Sep 2011
The heat and humidity of Singapore make it one of the toughest races on the F1 calendar for cars and drivers. Williams achieved a two-car finish, with Pastor Maldonado's FW33 being their first car home in 11th place. Rubens Barrichello, on a different strategy to his team mate, came home in 13th place. Mark Gillan, the team's new chief operations engineer, gives his take on the weekend
Q: How would you sum up the performance of the FW33 in Singapore?
Mark Gillan: Overall the team did a good job this weekend. The aim at this race was firstly, to maximise our current performance and fight to get into the top ten, which unfortunately we just missed with both cars, and secondly to further understand the FW33 package to allow us to continue to bring additional development parts to the remaining races.
Q: The team took various upgrades to the Marina Bay circuit. How did they perform?
MG: We brought an extensive set of upgrades to the track including modifications to the front wing, floor, rear wing, cooling package and fuel cell. The majority of parts worked well and those that did not make their way onto the car for Saturday running will be further modified and retested.
Q: Tyre wear was a concern for all of the teams prior to the race. Were those worries justified?
MG: Tyre wear was not so much the concern, but rather the large lap-time delta between the soft and super-soft tyres, in addition to how the soft tyre would behave during a long stint.
Q: Rubens completed 31 laps on one set of soft tyres in the race. What was the thinking behind that?
MG: At the time we were out of the points and decided to split the strategy by letting Rubens run to the end on a set of soft tyres while getting Pastor to pit once more for another set of softs. Rubens did an excellent job of defending his subsequent 10th position against Massa but unfortunately the tyre performance dropped off quite significantly in the last few laps and Massa was able to take the position six laps from the end.
Q: The safety car was deployed on lap 30. How did that impact on Pastor's and Rubens' race?
MG: The safety car worked well, with both drivers gaining positions.
Q: The Japanese Grand Prix comes next. Do you expect the FW33 to be competitive at Suzuka?
MG: We aim to be more competitive at Suzuka than at Singapore, but as a team, we have a lot of work to do in order to compete at the level we want to. We are currently working hard to address the FW33s key driveability issues.
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