Williams seem to be in happier spirits ahead of this weekend's F1 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a number of factors said to be in its favour and which could potentially assist the former world champion team in scoring some much needed points.
After a nightmare season for the Grove-based team, Rubens Barrichello believes the event at the Yas Marina Circuit provides a good opportunity to score points ahead of the season finale in Brazil. The veteran is anticipating plenty of overtaking with the help of DRS combined with the nature of the circuit.
“Abu Dhabi is a great race and although some people say that overtaking was not easy there the last two years, this year with DRS I think we will have some really good racing,” he said.
“The track is very exciting for drivers. Turns 2 and 3 make a very special combination of high speed corners with the last part of the track a very tricky sequence of low speed and technical corners. I enjoy going to Abu Dhabi and I'm looking to score some more points before heading to the last race of the season in Brazil.”
Barrichello's rookie team-mate Pastor Maldonado is also quietly confident and the Venezuelan will arrive at the track with ample experience.
“The Yas Marina Circuit has a very interesting combination of corners, mostly slow speed with one fast section right at the start of the lap,” he added.
It is quite a long lap and tyre degradation is usually quite high. Although it is a fairly new track, the team has lots of data from both the races and test here last year. I enjoyed the Young Driver test there in 2010 as well as racing in GP2, so I also know the track. Abu Dhabi is a really nice place to visit with great fans.”
Williams chief operations engineer, Mark Gillian meanwhile also shares the same cautious optimism while indicating his team are in good shape for this weekend. Gillian also hints that the medium aero efficiency the Yas Marina Circuit demands shouldn't expose the FW33's lack of downforce as much as other circuits.
“Early preparation for the 55 lap Abu Dhabi race has gone well. The Yas Marina Circuit is a medium aerodynamic efficiency track, with a real mix of long straights and relatively tight, low mean speed corners, which in turn puts a great deal of energy through the braking system,” Gillan concluded.
by Simon Evans