Q & A with Sam Michael

Conducted and provided by Williams's press office.

Q & A with Sam Michael

Q. Did Nico's fourth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix meet expectations?

Sam Michael: Yes. Before the race we knew it would be difficult to stay in front of the KERS cars going into turn one so Nico did well to exit the first corner in front of one of the McLarens as it enabled him to cover a lot of ground in the first stint. We cleared the Red Bull after the first pitstop, but Mark Webber managed to make it back past Nico which ultimately set the tone for the second stint.

Q. Nico had a problem during his first stop. What caused it and could he have finished third without it?

SM: We lost a lot of time during Nico's first pitstop and then as well during the laps proceeding it. The two issues combined cost us a place to one of the McLarens, but we recovered that during the second round of stops.

Q. Nico set the third fastest race lap. What can be read into that?

SM: The FW31 was again competitive throughout the race. We now just have to keep bringing developments to the car to keep it that way!

Q. Did you have any tyre wear issues on either car?

SM: No, no tyre issues on either car.

Q. Kazuki just missed out on scoring a point. What were the key moments of his race?

SM: Kazuki had a great opening lap but then lost a position to Button at the start of his second lap. Unfortunately, the Brawn was heavier and slower during the first stint so Kazuki's race was compromised from the outset. It also allowed other drivers behind him who were running longer to close the gap.

Q. How will the two week summer shutdown affect your preparations for the European Grand Prix?

SM: We will be working hard this week to prepare the cars for Valencia and then the two week enforced shutdown will commence. It won't, however, affect our preparations for the next race.

Q. Do you expect the FW31 to be competitive at Valencia?

SM: Yes. Our performance was reasonable at Valencia last year because it's a street circuit. With the improvements we've made this year, we expect to be competitive again. However, it's an ideal circuit for KERS.

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