Williams returns to the scene of its maiden Formula 1 victory at Silverstone this weekend, and although not envisaging such lofty heights this time around, is nevertheless optimistic of a strong performance on the 30th anniversary of its debut in the top flight.

Although the British outfit, based at Grove not far from the challenging Northamptonshire circuit, has not troubled the scorers since the Canadian Grand Prix three races ago courtesy of Alex Wurz's third place, the 13 points it has thus far amassed in 2007 - equating to fifth position in the constructors' title chase - is nevertheless already an improvement on its 2006 total of eleven.

"Silverstone is our home grand prix," the Austrian stated, "so that's exciting for everyone in the team, but I also love it because it's a cool track. There's no braking in the high-speed first sector and lots of G-forces for the drivers to contend with. It is quite a difficult track to get right, though, because of the different wing types required and the changeable conditions. Getting a good set-up is tricky and often has to be a compromise between top speed and downforce for the corners.

"As we saw in France, it's going to be a hard fight again because everyone is very close, but we'll be on the maximum attack to get some points. I've travelled to the UK a bit early and will go to Hamleys on Wednesday. There, I'll meet the winner of the competition to create a new helmet design for me which I will be racing with on Sunday."

Team-mate Nico Rosberg has frequently been on the pace this year, but a variety of misfortunes have conspired to prevent him from notching up more than five points thus far. The German is determined to add to that tally on Sunday.

"Silverstone is a great track," the 22-year-old enthused. "I really enjoy driving it and our car should go well there. We had a productive test there before France, so we should have a good chance of scoring points this weekend.

"In addition, it's always a good race because it's the team's home grand prix. There's a lot of history for us at Silverstone, having taken our first-ever win there back in 1979, so it also holds a lot of good memories."

"Silverstone has a bit of everything for the drivers and engineers," added Williams' technical director Sam Michael. "A high-speed first sector, combined with a slow-speed third sector, forces a set-up compromise. Aero efficiency is a key factor because, unless a driver makes a mistake or there is a very large differential in car performance, overtaking is extremely difficult here.

"We tested at Silverstone just two weeks ago which gave us the opportunity to work on significant set-up changes and sign off the systems we would normally spend Friday checking. During Friday's practice sessions, therefore, we should be concentrating on tyres and fine-tuning the cars' balance for any changes that may be needed since the test. For example, there was quite a lot of gusting wind at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago which there may not be this week and that would inevitably make a difference.

"Most teams will run with a two-stop strategy at Silverstone. Bridgestone will bring the hard and medium compound Potenza tyres for us to choose from, and both are good here."

 

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