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Williams F1 Expects Improvement in China

by F1Fan on April 10, 2010

Williams F1 suffered mixed results in Malaysia, both Drivers qualified well under terrible weather conditions ending up on the 3rd and 4th row of the grid. Rookie Nico Hulkenberg claimed his first points ever formula one points finishing 10th, while veteran Rubens Barrichello’s car stalled at the start which pretty much cost him any chance of scoring, finishing in 12th position out of the points.

The general consensus within the team after the race was that the FW32 chassis performs well in the wet but lacks pace in dry conditions so the Team has been working flat out to come up with some improved front and rear wings in time for the Chinese Grand Prix. Sam Michael, Technical Director summarized the issues and the areas needing work in the following manner:

” After the issues we faced in Malaysia, we’re heading to China with a clear target of improving our performance. There are several key areas which we obviously need to concentrate on. Firstly, we need to ensure that both drivers make it into the top ten again in qualifying in order to give them the best possible chance of scoring some needed points in the race. We also need to work on our starts. We have resolved the problem that Rubens had on the grid, and we will be carrying out a series of starts practices during the Friday sessions. In terms of car developments, we have been working hard on producing some aero improvements for the front and rear wings for Shanghai.”

Shanghai International Circuit poses unique challenges for all teams. If it stays dry it will be one of the highest fuel consumption tracks of the season, no refueling will lead to very high fuel loads causing increased tire wear. Some of the corners at Shanghai place huge lateral loads on the front tires in particular turn 2 which doubles back on itself placing massive loads on the front left tire and additional tire wear. Coupled with the design of Pit Lane which will make tyre changes the longest of the season makes tire management and car set up the key to a good race, as explained by Rubens Barrichello when talking about the challenges of the Shanghai circuit:

“Shanghai is a really interesting circuit. It has a good combination of corners and that really long straight at the end of the lap which is perfect for overtaking. To hook up a quick lap, the car requires more aero strength, rather than mechanical, but an exact blend of the two which is always quite difficult to achieve. Together with the fact that the lap is also quite long with lots of different variables, setting up the car perfectly is hard work. I won the first race at Shanghai which is very special for me. I will always remember that win as it makes me think I can always do it again.

Now that would be something to see.

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