Australia debrief with Williams Mark Gillan 20 Mar 2012
Although neither of their FW34s finished Sunday's Australian race, Williams left Melbourne feeling decidedly upbeat about the potential of the car. The British teams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan discusses the Melbourne weekend
Q: Is Pastor Maldonado okay after his crash, and how much damage is there to the chassis?
Mark Gillan: Yes Pastor is fine and the chassis stood up well to the impact. We damaged the front wing, nose and other body work but the chassis is undamaged.
Q: How would you sum up the performance of the FW34 around Albert Park?
MG: The FW34 performance was as we were expecting in qualifying and our relative race pace was perhaps slightly better than expected and very encouraging going forwards into the new season.
Q: Did Pirelli's medium and soft-compound tyres pose any problems?
MG: No both tyres worked well.
Q: How did the wet weather on Friday affect your preparations for the weekend?
MG: The wet conditions obviously limited the base mechanical and aero set-up work that one could perform in addition to limiting any longer runs on the dry tyres which are typically done throughout Friday to allow one to predict race tyre wear and degradation.
Q: Albert Park is regarded by some people as unrepresentative of the other tracks on the calendar. Is this a view you share?
MG: I agree that one typically needs to review the relative pace of the car after the fourth race in order to get a balanced view of the cars' general performance, but from both winter testing and this first race one can develop a reasonable perspective.
Q: Looking ahead to next weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, how do you expect the FW34 to perform?
MG: I expect us to be strong once more and the team can't wait for the event to start.
Q: How does the team prepare technically for the heat and humidity of Sepang?
MG: By drinking lots of water and avoiding as much sun as possible.
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