Michael: Williams should be higher up
|By Jonathan Noble
||Monday, June 15th 2009, 09:54 GMT
Williams technical director Sam Michael thinks his team should be doing better in the Constructors' Championship this year, judging by the speed of its car.
Although the Grove-based outfit has been a regular points scorer in 2009, and currently lies sixth in the Constructors' Championship, Michael is adamant that the team should be higher in the standings than it is at present.
"Our performance as a team is measured by our position in the Constructors' Championship," said Michael.
"We're lying in sixth at the moment but I don't think the FW31 is the sixth fastest car; I think we're faster than that, as we've proved many times in qualifying and with the positions the drivers have run in during the race.
"If we look at our gaps to the fastest times in qualifying, we were 0.4s off in Melbourne, 0.6s off in Malaysia, Shanghai and Bahrain, 0.3s off in Barcelona and, in Monaco, the gap was down to zero.
"We didn't run at the end of Q2 in Monte Carlo but, when we were on track, we were setting the quickest times. In Turkey, the gap reverted back to 0.4s, so we're gradually getting closer to the front."
Michael has also heaped praise on his drivers - and thinks Kazuki Nakajima is closer to Rosberg this year than he was in his rookie season.
"Most drivers improve year-on-year, whether they're a rookie or a world champion, and our drivers are no different," he said. "Turkey marked Nico's 60th Grand Prix so he now has a considerable amount of experience to fall back on and he's doing a good job.
"Kazuki is closer to Nico this year and he's been unlucky to miss out on several Q3 opportunities by the narrowest of margins. He's definitely improved since last year, but the field is much tighter now which means that even the smallest performance differential equates to a significant difference on the grid."
Looking ahead to this weekend's British GP, Michael reckons it should deliver the team another chance to shine.
"The whole of sector one at Silverstone is dominated by high speed corners and it's a very quick track," he said.
"The FW31 is a big improvement over last year's car and now performs well in high speed corners so we should be more competitive there than last year. We'll also be introducing some more improvements to the car, so hopefully we'll have a good race"