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F1: Williams’ objectives 'are clear' heading to Spa

With drivers and team personnel raring to go after a four-week summer hiatus, the Belgian Grand Prix should present Williams with the chance of another decent points haul.

Head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley is hoping that the Williams team can pick up where it left off as the F1 season resumes in Belgium after its summer break.

Another double points finish – the fourth of 2014 - in Hungary confirmed Williams position in the top four places on the constructors' table, and Smedley is keen to hit the ground running in Belgium, acknowledging that the classic Spa-Francorchamps circuit is one which should suit to potent Mercedes-powered FW36.

“We have had a really good start to the 2014 campaign, and everyone is living and learning how to race back at the top again,” Smedley commented, “Hopefully, everybody has come back refreshed and motivated for the second half of the season. The objectives within the team are clear, we want to finish as high up in the constructors table as possible.

“Spa is a circuit that should suit us, as there is very high drag and engine sensitivity and those features will benefit us. However, the middle sector is something we will have to work on throughout the weekend and, in qualifying, we will need to have the tyres switched on for that sector. There is always a chance for rain in Spa too...”

One of the classic F1 venues, Spa is loved and respected by drivers in equal measure, and both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa are looking forward to hitting the track this weekend.

“Spa is always a great place to go, one of the best circuits in the world,” the Finn reflected, musing classic challenges such as Pouhon, Blanchimont and Eau Rouge, “The elevation changes and high speed corners make it a real pleasure to drive, especially in an F1 car.

“Because of the long straights and variable weather conditions, races can be very interesting for the driver and for the fans. To be competitive at Spa, you need a car with efficient aerodynamics, so we expect to be strong and are aiming for a good result.”

With a four-week summer break since their last track action, both drivers are relishing the return, although, with the new-for-2014 technical regulations limiting downforce, it remains to be seen whether the likes of Eau Rouge remain 'easy flat'...

“I have had a really nice summer break, but am ready to get back to racing,” former Belgian Grand Prix winner Massa admitted, “We have some great tracks to look forward to and I hope we can carry on developing our car like we did the first half of the season, and continue to be near the front.

“I love Spa - it's one of my favourite tracks because of the long straights and high speed corners, and it's a track we all look forward to racing at. The long straights should suit our car and we can kick the second half of the season off with some success. I won here in 2008, so I know what it takes to win...”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
26.07.2014- Qualifying, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
26.07.2014- Qualifying, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
26.07.2014- Free Practice 3, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
26.07.2014- Free Practice 3, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
Rob Smedley (GBR) Williams Head of Vehicle Performance. 17.07.2014. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Hockenheim, Germany, Preparation Day.
26.07.2014- Qualifying, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
Williams Martini Racing FW40
Antonio Giovinazzi - Sauber F1 Team
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
Ferrari SF70H
Ferrari SF70H
The Ferrari SF70H - Scuderia Ferrari
Ferrari SF70H, Ferrari launch [Credit: Ferrari]
Ferrari SF70H, Ferrari launch [Credit: Ferrari]

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August 19, 2014 6:54 AM
Last Edited 218 days ago

I think when they say they're optimistic about Spa they mean "we can fight for 3rd and 4th" as no one actually expects to beat Mercedes straight up... Of course there's always a chance that one of the Mercedes cars will present a problem during the race as we have seen happen a few times this year but I honestly don't believe anyone in the Williams garage is counting on that happening again. Massa's words mean what they mean, he's won there so he knows what it takes to do it. No one can take that away from him. Not even the 'Massa post spring accident' can. What they don't mean is that he truly believes he will win again at Spa this year.


August 18, 2014 4:36 PM

fourteenseven: quite a few (me included) think the next two races are at tracks that play to the strengths of the williams. some caution needs to be exercised though, 'lewis (in the best car this year) is a monster in canada' or 'lewis loves hungary' both progressed to unexpected wins for danni ricciardos red bull. felipe's 'I won here in 2008, so I know what it takes to win...' seems a little delusional considering he actually finished about half a minute behind the first car to take the chequered flag. i merely hope that the whole team dots all the 'I's and crosses all the 'T's in their preparations and realises their potential. along with all the preperation, a dose of good fortune (maybe what felipe was referring to) wouldnt go amiss.
They should go well, hope Felipe can get round without hitting another car.

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