Williams expecting further improvement

The Williams team travels to the Circuit de Catalunya buoyed by the knowledge that Ralf Schumacher went quickest there in the last test at the end of March. Presenting the teams and drivers with one of the most complex technical challenges of the year, the track near Barcelona is the most tested on of all the 'public' tracks, leaving precious little room for excuses

Williams expecting further improvement

"Barcelona is a challenging circuit for both the engineers and drivers to find a well balanced set up," says Williams' chief operations engineer Sam Michael." We obviously spend a lot of time here during winter testing, but the changeable conditions mean that you are still experimenting with the setup during race weekend.

"With four high speed corners, the tyres need to be harder than usual to cope with the high degradation and this puts a large emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency. As at the last GP, strategy could easily be two or three stops and with overtaking so difficult here a good grid position is essential."

Ralf Schumacher carries the additional burden of grief, after the sad death of his mother over the Imola weekend. "Naturally, following the loss of my mother last weekend, I am having a hard time at the moment. I therefore appreciate the support and consideration both the fans and the media have shown myself and Michael at this difficult time.

"Regarding the next Grand Prix, Barcelona is a demanding circuit with four high speed corners and changeable wind conditions; the track is on a hill so considerable pressure is placed on the aerodynamics of the car and the tyres. Finding the optimum balance of the car is one of the most difficult tasks but, I am fairly optimistic that our performance will be better than in recent races."

Team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya does not count the circuit among his favourites, but with recent chassis and aero improvements he hopes he will be able to fulfill his potential on the weekend.

"The track is very demanding in terms of set-up of the car because it presents a wide variety of situations but we are going to run the aerodynamic improvements we had in Imola, so we should feel more confident this time," he said. "I think that, in most of the races so far this season, we have not achieved what we should have done, so I hope our fortunes change in Barcelona."

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