Webber Laments Early Run

Mark Webber believes Williams are in better shape for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix than their qualifying positions suggest

Webber Laments Early Run

Hampered by having to be the first two cars out on the track, Webber managed to take 14th on the grid with stand-in teammate Antonio Pizzonia two places further back.

And although those grid positions would point towards further problems for the Williams FW27, Webber and technical director Sam Michael are fairly upbeat about their form.

"The car seems to be reasonable so far this weekend," said Webber. "Last week in the test here we showed some positive steps in performance in relation to the outright pace.

"Clearly the people working back at the factory have done a good job in the wind tunnel with such a low downforce package which you need in Monza and also BMW is pushing hard for this race.

"Having to start as second qualifier didn't help, but I am happy with my lap anyway. The race in Monza is usually hard on the tyres and the cars are sliding a lot around the corners, but it's the same for everyone and it should be an interesting race tomorrow."

Michael said: "This is more or less what we were expecting from today due to running first in qualifying.

"After last week's testing and the four free-practice sessions held this weekend, I believe that we are much stronger than the qualifying positions would suggest. We have a good strategy for the race tomorrow and our target is to get the cars into the points."

Pizzonia's chance with Williams came after regular Nick Heidfeld was forced to withdraw with headache problems as a legacy of his crash in testing last week.

The Brazilian admitted that he was a little rusty after several months away from the cockpit of a Formula One car.

"I was still sleeping when the telephone rang this morning at 8:30 and they told me to rush to the track," he said. "I have been away from the car for nearly three months and the last time I drove an F1 car it was fitted with a V8 engine, which makes a big difference.

"Obviously it was a bit tricky to get used to the car so quickly, but I am happy to have the opportunity to race for the team again. Knowing that I was going to be the first car out for qualifying, today we concentrated more on race set up but I am happy with my qualifying lap, considering the situation.

"There is a lot more to come from me and hopefully I can do a good job tomorrow."

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