Williams happy with new nose

Revisions to the Williams FW26 appear to have done the trick after the team's two drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Antonio Pizzonia recorded times at the sharp end of the list. JPM ended up third quickest, less than three tenths slower than Kimi Raikkonen. Stand-in team-mate Pizzonia was only four tenths slower on his first visit to the track

Williams happy with new nose

Williams decided to dump its unique 'walrus' nose in favour of a more conventional one, but other modifications have been made to the car to compliment changes introduced to the rear end earlier in the season.

"We have made good use of today's practice and my lap time was okay by the end of the session," said Montoya. "But there's still quite a lot of work ahead of us, because we know there's more in the car.

"The track was very dirty at the beginning of free practice and there was no grip at all, but conditions improved throughout the session and they were acceptable towards the end. However the balance of the FW26 wasn't ideal under cornering and on the bumpy sections. We need now to address this and get the car in good shape for tomorrow.

Pizzonia drove well today. Under the circumstances the Brazilian has absolutely nothing to lose, and drove like it. He knows that Jenson Button is the favoured choice for the second Williams drive and now has to try and impress those teams left with vacancies if he wants a race seat in 2005.

"Today it has been a learning day for me," he said, "as it was my first time on this track in a F1 car and I basically spent my time learning the circuit. I am quite happy the way we went through our programme and the results show that it was a productive session.

"We have collected good data and the tyre choice seems pretty clear to us, at the moment, even if we know the track is going to improve a lot. I am fairly pleased with my day but still I know there's more to come from me."

Williams's technical director Sam Michael was happy with the improvements made to the car. "We have had a good first day here and all the new parts we have brought to the car are working well. Although it is always a bit risky to bring new parts straight to a race, we have had a lot of confidence in the wind tunnel correlation to the track which enables us to do this."

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