Williams: Too early to read testing form

Williams says there is little point trying to get an understanding of the relative performance of the various cars this year until at least the final pre-season test in Barcelona

Williams: Too early to read testing form

Although Ferrari emerged from the first test in Valencia last week as the team to beat, Williams technical director Sam Michael thinks that differing development programmes will leave the overall picture of competitiveness unclear for a few more weeks.

"There was a sort of order starting to form in Valencia in terms of who looked quick, and Ferrari definitely looked the strongest," Michael told AUTOSPORT. "But Valencia is a really specific track and Jerez is much more representative of the tracks that we go to.

"It has more high-speed corners, so it's a much harder track on the aerodynamics of the car and also it will be interesting to see what happens with the tyres. There were a lot of people changing setup - weight distribution, aero balance, cambers - to get the best out of the tyres and everyone is waiting to see if that trend continues in Jerez.

"The front tyre was made narrower, but the rear casing was also changed. So, because of that, you are starting from nothing, which makes the job very interesting. In terms of the pecking order, it'll take until the last test or even into the season to find that out, because people will bring upgrades. You won't see the proper order until it settles down."

Although Williams itself did not deliver any headline-grabbing times in Valencia, Michael remains upbeat about the potential of the FW32.

"Most of the [Valencia] test was about getting used to the Cosworth engine, running our new gearbox and all of the hydraulic systems and fuel systems," he said.

"Everything is brand new, so it was all about making sure we got through that alright.

"To do 1300kms without any major problems was good and we're looking forward to Jerez. On the installation you are always going to have small things on the car and we've got solutions planned for this week's Jerez test.

"There are a few areas on the gearbox and engine systems where we need to change some designs, but they are nothing major. We'll have all of those bits on the car at Jerez - they are reliability rather than performance items. It was much better then I thought it could have possibly been, because sometimes with so many changes it can get away from you."

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