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."

shares
comments
Q & A with Mark Webber
Previous article

Q & A with Mark Webber

Next article

Q & A with Sam Michael

Q & A with Sam Michael
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021