Williams could be hampered by forecast wet weather during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend.
While the team displayed a quick car in pre-season testing, wet qualifying sessions in both Australia and Malaysia highlighted a weakness in the FW36 and left both drivers out of position for the race. A dry qualifying in Bahrain saw Valtteri Bottas qualify third but China is set to be wet on Saturday and Felipe Massa acknowledged the team is hoping the forecast will be wrong.
“There is a very long straight in China which will be good for overtaking, especially for our car as we have a good top speed,” Massa said. “There are also low speed corners where good downforce is needed, so we hope we can make improvements on these sections.
“We hope to have a few new parts which should help with grip and other areas that we need to improve. We still need to improve the car in the wet, so we are hoping the weekend will be dry, I also prefer the dry, but there is hard work going on to improve the car.”
Bottas himself said the team needs more low-speed downforce in order to improve in wet conditions.
“So far the season has been positive and we are looking forward to China,” Bottas said. “We still need to make a step forward in performance, especially as this track is quite different to Bahrain. The long straight will be our strong point as we can overtake, but we need to be good through the corners to be close enough to take advantage.
“We are hoping to improve our downforce for the slower sections of the track. Once we improve this, it should improve our overall running in all conditions so it is an area we are focusing on. The weather can be variable in China but at this point we are looking for a dry race.”