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Q&A - Sam Michael, Williams

Sam Michael: Our pace on the intermediate tyre wasn't good enough. Compared to some of the guys in the top ten, our lap times on the dry tyre were respectable, but we just lost too much time in the opening laps to be able to make up any ground.

Williams technical director Sam Michael reflects on a tough British Grand Prix for the Grove-based outfit, with Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado – who qualified seventh – both finishing well outside the points...


Q:
Sam, the team brought lots of upgrades to the British Grand Prix. How did they perform?

Sam Michael:
All the new parts we brought to Silverstone – the exhaust, diffuser, front wing and suspension – all performed as expected, so we ran them on both cars for qualifying and the race.

Q:
Pastor out-qualified Rubens for the fourth time in the last five races. How much has he improved during the course of 2011?

Sam Michael:
Pastor is doing a really solid job. As a rookie, he is particularly strong on the circuits he has driven on before. All the signs are showing that he should really excel in 2012 once he knows all the circuits we visit and so can turn up to each race and just concentrate on driving fast.

Q:
Rain played a part in qualifying and the race. How difficult did that make tyre choice?

Sam Michael:
Although we had changeable conditions, our tyres choices were correct every time. When you have conditions like that you need to be able to react and make decisions quickly, sometimes with very limited information.

Q:
How did the FW33s perform on the intermediate tyre at the start of the race?

Sam Michael:
Neither car performed well on the intermediate tyres. We had a new suspension design on the car so with the limited running we'd had, we may have tuned it too far towards a dry set-up. We'll review this for the German Grand Prix.

Q:
You split race strategies, Rubens doing a two-stop race and Pastor a three-stop. Why was that?

Sam Michael:
We split them to try and make sure we were in a position to take advantage if something unusual happened later in the race. We were able to do this as the tyre degradation was lower than expected due to the easier time we had on the option tyre during the first stint on a damp track.

Q:
The off-throttle diffuser regulations were a constant source of discussion at Silverstone. What's the latest you can tell us?

Sam Michael:
Our understanding is that we will revert to the Valencia regulations if all teams sign the document, otherwise we will stay with the Silverstone regulations.

Q:
The German Grand Prix comes next. How do you expect the FW33 to perform at the Nürburgring?

Sam Michael:
As always, we'll be trying to get a top ten finish for both our cars.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
06.05.2011- Friday Practice 2, Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Technical Director
09.07.2011- Qualifying, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
09.07.2011- Qualifying, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams FW33 and Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33

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