Williams F1 team not a one-trick pony, Rob Smedley says

The Williams Formula 1 team's Russian Grand Prix improvement was genuine progress from upgrades and not just a Mercedes power advantage helping at Sochi, says performance chief Rob Smedley

Williams F1 team not a one-trick pony, Rob Smedley says

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa finished fourth and fifth at Sochi to give the team its biggest points haul of the season.

As well as both drivers running the new-specification front wing that had been trialled during the previous two race weekends, there were also some minor tweaks to the car for Russia that aided performance.

While Williams has gone well in Russia for the past two seasons, partly thanks to the strength of the Mercedes power unit, Smedley is confident the team has no reason to fear the upcoming races in Spain and Monaco.

Barcelona's configuration punishes any lack of downforce, while Monaco tests the slow-corner performance Williams has struggled with in recent years, but these are areas where the team is improving.

After qualifying, Smedley cited the improvement in lower-speed corners as one of the factors that boosted performance, which could help in Monaco.

"We're not a one-trick pony, this is not purely about power," said Smedley of the Sochi performance.

"There are cars who we have the same power unit as that we've either moved towards or been able to move away from.

"It's about how we're managing the tyres and how we're using them over a single timed lap that has helped us to manage them in the race.

"Characteristic-wise, they [Barcelona and Monaco] are not the greatest for us but we've got to go there and take everything that we can from them.

"We're not scared of those circuits, we'll go there and do the absolute best and I'm convinced we'll do better than we did in Monaco 2015 with all the work we've done."

Sebastian Vettel's penalty meant Williams had its first front row start since 2014 with Bottas at Sochi.

Though he fell to fourth in the race and finished 18 seconds behind Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari, Smedley is confident the gap has closed.

"Ferrari had a lot of pace on us in the first three races and if you look at the pure pace in this race, then we're edging closer towards them again," said Smedley.

"It was always going to be a big ask to try and beat them, we knew that, and our principle target was to beat Red Bull, which we did fairly comprehensively.

"The positive that we can take from it is that we have moved closer to Ferrari in terms of pace a little bit and that's a good thing."

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