Williams will go into the new season in a confident frame of mind with the firm belief they have a 'very competitive car' in the FW33.
The Grove-based outfit revealed its race livery for F1 2011 on Thursday and technical director Sam Michael noted that to date pre-season testing has been positive: “We have done 3800 kilometres so far. The testing has been very good. We don't have any fundamental issues with the car. We have had lots of little teething problems. But generally it has been pretty good,” he explained.
“All the testing that we have been doing shows we can have a very competitive car in the FW33 and as long as we develop it quickly, which is what we are doing, I think we can have a good year.”
Williams concluded the most recent test at Barcelona this week just outside the top ten on the combined times, with Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado eleventh and twelfth respectively [see separate story – click here
]. Michael added though that it would be foolish to read too much into any of the times from winter testing.
“How fast is everyone?” he pondered. “There is lots of speculation about where everybody is and within all the F1 teams we have an enormous amount of data. Lots of lap times and we know where our aero platform is - and we take photos of the other cars, and even we have no idea. So for the journalists you won't have any chance to predict it.
“You can sort of see some trends in terms of who might be quickest - and maybe who is slowest. But then there is a big group of probably eight or nine teams in the middle where I don't think you can predict it.
“Also even if you have somebody that looks pretty strong today they may not be by Melbourne or Malaysia or Shanghai.
“The rate of progression is very big and that always happens when there is such a big rule change.”