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Q & A with Sam Michael

Conducted and provided by Williams's press office.

Q. How did Friday's wet running compromise preparation for qualifying and the race?

Sam Michael: Obviously it affected us quite a lot, although it was the same for everyone. We had some new parts with us for Japan, as well as some alternative set-ups which we wanted to try out, so the time with which we had to do that was limited. When you lose so much track time as we did on Friday, you simply have to re-prioritise and inevitably drop some items from your list.

Q. How relevant was the team's technical data from the last race at Suzuka in 2006?

SM: A little, but not much! The cars have changed a great deal since the race in 2006. We now have a single tyre supplier, slicks and completely different aerodynamics so there wasn't a huge amount of data that was still relevant.

Q. Given the pace of the FW31 at Spa, was it more competitive at Suzuka than you expected?

SM: Well, Suzuka is a different track to Spa and has a higher downforce level. We were strong during the first stint of our race in Japan, which is why we were more competitive and scored points.

Q. How did the two red flags during Q2 compromise Nico's qualifying?

SM: They had a considerable influence because we were concentrating on the prime tyre at the time. To do that, you need to be able to do multiple laps. When the session time is lost, your runs, and therefore your qualifying, is compromised.

Q. Were you pleased with Nico's race performance?

SM: Yes, he drove a good race.

Q. Kazuki finished his home race in 15th position. Could he have finished higher on a different strategy?

SM: It's always going to be a difficult race starting from 15th. We went for the one stop strategy banking on something happening which could affect his position, but it didn't so we couldn't capitalise on it.

Q. Were there any tyre issues on either car over the weekend?

SM: No, no tyre issues.

Q. How do you expect the FW31 to perform at Interlagos?

SM: We expect to be competitive. The season is drawing to a close now, so we need to be scoring as many points as possible. Our chances of doing that in Brazil are good.

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