Williams' chief test engineer Rod Nelson has said that the Grove-based team enjoys the challenge presented by some of Pirelli's tyre choices, confident that it can make more of the rubber than its rivals.

Speaking in response to comments made by world champion Lewis Hamilton which suggested that the F1 tyre supplier was leaning towards tyres that were too hard, Nelson countered that, while the tyres were the same for everyone, Williams felt that it was capable of extracting more potential.

"Three of the compounds are the same, it's only the supersofts that are a little bit different," he pointed out, "The rear construction is new and we tested that in Abu Dhabi at the end of last season.

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"That seemed a reasonable step forward as one of the complaints last season was that the drivers were commenting on the rear not being very stable when they were laterally loaded, on entry to corners in particular, and that has certainly improved. In addition, they had the target of making the wear more consistent across the tread rather than on the inside edge and that's definitely better as well.

"If [Hamilton] is talking about the compound placement, nothing's changed. Maybe he's saying that, generally, they choose too hard a compound or are being a bit too conservative with the compound they choose for certain tracks. We enjoy the challenge of going with a compound that is a little on the edge because we like to think that we can do something about making it live.

"Sometimes that doesn't work out for you - Bahrain last year is a case in point - but, like all these things, if you have a problem, it makes you work in that area to understand it. He's probably right, but you can only p*ss with the d*ck that you've got - you're given the tyres and you put them on the car. Everyone's got the same problem."