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Q&A - Sam Michael, Williams

Technical director Sam Michael looks back at the European Grand Prix
AT&T Williams took several upgrades to Valencia. How effective were they?

Sam Michael:
We had a new rear wing in Valencia which we raced with. We also took a new exhaust system but we decided not to run this before qualifying. Having reviewed the practice and race data, we now plan to run the revised exhaust system again at Silverstone.

How did the new engine mapping freeze affect the team's performance in qualifying?

Sam Michael:
It restricted some of the changes we would normally make, but it wasn't our first order.

Rubens was second fastest through the speed trap in qualifying. What conclusions can be drawn from that?

Sam Michael:
Rubens had a considerable tow on one of his laps early in the session which was the main contributor.

Pirelli used their medium compound tyre in Valencia for the first time. How did it perform?

Sam Michael:
The medium compound was still a good step slower than the softer option compound.

Pastor had two punctures over the weekend, the first during Friday practice and again in the race. Have you established the causes?

Sam Michael:
Not yet, we are still inspecting the parts.

Can you sum up the performances of Pastor and Rubens over the weekend?

Sam Michael:
Both our drivers performed well this weekend. We let Pastor down in qualifying with the fuel system problem, we then had a problem getting the car off the line at the start of the race. Pastor had a puncture during his first stint which forced him into an early pitstop and a change in strategy from a two to a three stop. When Pastor exited the pits, he was at the back of the field from where he had to fight for the remaining 56 laps.

The team's home race comes next. How do you expect the FW33 to perform at Silverstone, and how will the impending off-throttle diffuser ban affect the pecking order? 

Sam Michael:
We have a new front wing and revised diffuser for Silverstone. We will test two diffusers on Friday with the new off-throttle ban coming into play, as well as testing various new over-run maps. We are going to Kemble to undertake some additional aero testing in preparation for our home event.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
26.06.2011- Race, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
26.06.2011- Race, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
25.06.2011- Saturday Practice, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
30.10.2014 - Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
30.10.2014 - Press conference, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
30.10.2014 - Press conference, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
30.10.2014 - Press conference, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
30.10.2014 - Press conference, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
Michael Schumacher
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
2014 FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is to test with Lotus F1
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29

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