A very Frank Williams

Frank Williams has had many good days at Silverstone over the years, but fourth and fifth in this year's race probably gave him as much pleasure as some of the victories his team has enjoyed in its home race. Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button ran with the leading pack in the early stages, and eventually finished fourth and fifth, confirming that BMW is getting to the bottom of its reliability problems. Adam Cooper spoke to Sir Frank about the race

A very Frank Williams

Q: Was fourth and fifth more than you hoped for?

"I'll have taken everything that came along, but yes it was. I'm very, very pleased. It's a tremendously good day for us."

Q: How satisfying was it seeing both cars up with the McLarens in the early laps, albeit on a different strategy?

"The bottom line is not whether it was or wasn't the better strategy, we were only 38 seconds or so behind the winner, and normally we're quite a bit further back than that. It demonstrates that the car and engine are making good, strong developments and improvements all the time. Maybe one stop was quicker, but on paper it was quite a bit faster with two stops. We'll learn."

Q: Did you think that McLaren and Ferrari would do one stop, or was it just a question of waiting to see what happened?

"We were hoping everyone would do two stops. We were relieved when
Heinz-Harald pitted. On the evidence of the morning there's no way that we were suddenly as quick as the Ferraris and McLarens in the warm-up. I think the Jordans ran full fuel then, but were quite a bit off the pace, and then switched back to two."

Q: Are you happy with the improved reliability?

"It's coming together well. I'm very pleased for BMW, they're trying very hard. It's very good."

Q: Do you think Jenson showed something really special?

"Apparently he said on TV after the race that the most interesting part of the race was following the McLarens, and learning where they were good and where they were not so good."

Q: How do you think he handled all the attention this weekend?

"There was much more hype this weekend than previously, and it was a concern, but he's handled it very well. It does cost him focus. But he's got a very good approach and a very good brain."

Q: What's the feeling in the team now compared with the last couple of years?

"There's a realisation that we can move forward. We're still crossing the desert. There's a lot of hard work, but there's not much time for elation."

Q: Can you really set your sights on third place in the constructors' title now?

"I haven't thought about it, I truly haven't thought about it. One swallow doesn't make a summer."

Q: What do you think about the problems Silverstone suffered?

"Well, there's no question that Saturday and Sunday's events would have
been far less likely to happen had the race been where it's been for the last 50 years."

Q: Do think the balance is tipping in favour of McLaren?

"Michael was held up by Jacques, thank goodness, so it may have been different. It's very close."

Q: But as a racing enthusiast, are you looking forward to seeing how the fight at the front unfolds?

"Not really, because I want to piss on them. And you can write that!"


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