Having seen pre-race predictions that it may stand a chance of breaking into the small group of 2014 F1 winners at Belgium come up short last time out, Williams is heading to Monza this weekend keen to play a bigger role in determining the outcome of the race.

While the Italian Grand Prix may or may not be the last European race of the season, depending on whether one believes Sochi to be in Europe or Asia, it certainly provides the most unique test of the campaign, with its flat-out straights and tight chicanes forcing teams to devise a specific low downforce set-up in order to remain competitive.

Known in Italy as la Pista Magica, Monza is loved by almost everyone who visits, but requires straight-line speed and a good traction are crucial to good lap times. With average speeds hovering around the 160mph mark, and top speeds in excess of 210mph, Williams has been refining its low drag configuration and is optimistic that it will be in the fight this weekend.

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"The track should suit our car as it requires a very low downforce package," head of vehicle engineering Rob Smedley confirmed, "We expect all the teams to adapt their cars for the nature of the circuit and have specialised Monza aerodynamics, but we have worked a lot on the long straights and high drag sensitivity, and are confident that the aero package will be effective."

While Smedley also expects high temperatures to potentially cause issues with tyre temperatures on the long straights, both Williams drivers are eager to get into the action, with Valtteri Bottas looking to build on the podium finish he salvaged at Spa.

"Monza could be a great track for our car," the Finn enthused, "It is really good fun to drive and it is important to have good straight-line speeds as it has some very quick straights. We have a track specific aero package that we will take, combine that with the strong power-unit and we could have a very competitive weekend."

For veteran Felipe Massa, meanwhile, returning to Italy will have a poignant side, following his long spell with fan-favourite Ferrari. With the Prancing Horse hobbled by its 2014 powertrain package, the Brazilian is hoping old loyalties will remain as he continues to help restore Williams to former glories.

"Monza is a place I enjoy - I love the people and the fans and I hope now, despite the fact that I have moved teams, that they still support and cheer for me," Massa reasoned, "I hope to be competitive here as I think the Italian fans would like to see us do well..."