Rubens Barrichello has predicted a tough weekend for Williams in its home round of the F1 season at Silverstone this weekend.
The team goes into the British Grand Prix seeking to finish inside the points for only the third time in 2011, with ninth place finishes for Barrichello in Monaco and Canada being the only points scored to date.
Williams is set to run a revised exhaust system at Silverstone while also evaluating diffuser modifications but Barrichello said it wasn't going to be an easy weekend.
“Silverstone remains one of my favourite races,” Barrichello said. “I love going there and it is also important for the team as it is their home event. The circuit organisers have made some changes this year which could prove interesting at the start of practice. We all know what every corner is called, but drivers tend to use numbers rather than names over the radio. They've moved the start/finish straight, so we'll have to remember that Abbey, which we used to refer to as turn eleven, is now turn one! I'm sure it won't be a problem though as I think Silverstone has done a phenomenal job and I'm looking forward to getting there to see the new pit complex.
“As a team, we have a tough job ahead of us this weekend. At the last race we didn't run the revised exhaust, but post race I think it would have been stronger, so we'll be testing that at Silverstone. It's going to be important for us to get the new bits on the car and get to work with them straightaway to see an improvement in performance.”
Despite the ban on off-throttle diffusers, the team plans to continue running a blown diffuser for its home race, with technical director with technical director Sam Michael insisting there were still benefits to be had.
“We have a new front wing and some diffuser modifications to test for this race,” he said. “Significantly, blowing the diffuser during braking is no longer allowed, so we'll be working with the new software through Friday's practice sessions to re-tune our set-up. That doesn't mean that we won't run a blown diffuser, as the gains are still there when exiting the corner on throttle, but we'll evaluate two different types of diffusers before we decide which direction to take for qualifying and the race.”