Williams is set to introduce further upgrades in Singapore this weekend in an effort to try and secure only a fourth points finish of the 2011 F1 season.
So far this year, Rubens Barrichello
has managed a brace of ninth place finishes in Monaco and Canada while Pastor Maldonado
crossed the line tenth in Belgium to pick up his first top ten result.
That total of just five points has left Williams
down in ninth in the championship standings, with nearest rivals Toro Rosso
24 points ahead in the title race.
Heading into the night race, Williams
are set to test new parts in Friday practice ahead of the race weekend, which mark the final outing for Sam Michael in his role of technical director before he departs for McLaren.
“Singapore has all the challenges, for both the drivers and engineers, of a classic street race, but with the addition of it also being held at night,” he said. “There is a large improvement in track grip as the race weekend progresses. There are also more bumps and kerbs to deal with compared to normal and downforce is set to a maximum. Good traction with minimal understeer are always the focus of the car set-up here. We have an upgraded diffuser and a new front wing assembly for the first of the flyaways. We'll test both of them on Friday.”
Williams has run well in Singapore in the past – finishing second in 2008 with Nico Rosberg
– and team leader Rubens Barrichello
said he was hopeful of a strong weekend again this time around as the Grove-based outfit
“I love Singapore and I think the night race has been a great success,” he said. “I don't really have a favourite corner as all of them are very challenging. Turn four, for example, is a medium speed corner with some bumps on the way in that makes you double your attention but you can gain a lot of time there. As it is a long lap you need to keep the car and tyres in good shape as the last corner is a high speed one that determines your speed onto the straight. Williams
has always done well there and I hope this time it is no different.”