Williams Expecting Very Tight Fight

Williams technical director Sam Michael believes that track temperature during final qualifying on Sunday morning will likely be a major factor in whether Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld can build on their fourth and ninth slots on the provisional grid

Williams Expecting Very Tight Fight

Neither driver suffered any major dramas on their laps, as the BMW-powered FW27 continued to show signs of improvement, but the closeness of the competition at Imola means that tiny factors may prove crucial to the eventual outcome on Sunday.

"It was a reasonable first qualifying for us," said Michael. "There is not much difference between the top drivers' laptimes so it will be tight tomorrow in second qualifying.

"The track temperatures on Sunday morning will play a big part. The FW27 is making good progress and handling well around the Imola circuit, especially over the kerbs".

Webber was pretty pleased with his fourth fastest time, although he believed that he could have gone even better if he had pushed harder in the first sector.

"From my perspective, I didn't make any mistakes across the lap, but I could have done better in the first sector because I feel I braked too early for turn one, but I had a very good last sector, which balanced the lap."

Heidfeld had no complaints about his lap either, although he obviously paid the price for an early slot in the running order after his retirement from the Bahrain Grand Prix. 

"I had to go out quite early for my qualifying lap, when track conditions were not ideal," he said.

"My lap was average but I lost a bit of grip towards the end, but it was reassuring that I didn't experience any back problems at all today. I feel that my muscles have fully recovered after the problem I experienced during testing."

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