Williams looks set to carry its recent improved form forwards into Sunday's French Grand Prix, following a strong showing for both drivers during free practice at Magny-Cours.

Nico Rosberg ended the morning session in fourth - ahead of world championship leader Lewis Hamilton - with team-mate Alex Wurz close in attendance behind in eighth. Though the pairing would ultimately slip back to seventh and 13th respectively in the afternoon, both are heading into the remainder of the weekend in confident mood.

"I didn't feel very good about my first runs out on the track," Rosberg confessed, "but we managed to improve the set-up quite a lot today. We discovered some interesting things and tyre-wise we found some good results as well.

"As is usual this season, it's not immediately obvious how we'll work the two tyres, but we will go through that this evening. It's a lot of fun to drive on this track because of the new tarmac which gives it a lot more grip. My general feeling today is positive even if there are still some things we need to improve for tomorrow."

Wurz argued his eventual position on the timesheets was not entirely representative of his true pace, but is hopeful of breaking into Q3 in qualifying on Saturday for the first time in 2007.

"We had a very interesting Friday session," the Austrian stressed, "and ran through the programme according to plan. The only shame is there were some yellow flags out when I was on my quickest lap.

"Now we have to go through the information to improve our set-up and make the correct tyre choice. The circuit was ok today, but just a little slippery. That's like every other venue on a Friday though, and it provided a good foundation for consistent work."

"It was a positive day today," added technical director Sam Michael, "in which the engineers and drivers carried out the standard Friday programme working on race set-up. In addition to that we went through all the normal checks, namely cooling, brakes and systems. All of the new performance and reliability components we have here ran fine. Now we'll work on qualifying set-up for tomorrow."



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