FP1 & FP2 - Russian GP report: Williams Mercedes
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering
We’ve had a very complex test programme today. We looked at various different suspension and set-up options, we’ve been looking at aerodynamic configurations with the front wing and we’ve been doing our homework on the tyres so it’s been really busy. We’ve collected all of the data that we need to but we have a long night ahead to make sure we have the car optimised for tomorrow. The team’s done a good job in getting through the programme after the clutch actuation problem we had with Felipe’s car this morning, which put us on the back foot but we managed to recover and get through everything that we needed to. The car looks reasonably competitive on low and especially high fuel, which is what we’re always working towards. So for this stage of the weekend we are where we need to be, maybe even a little further up the road.
It was a good Friday – we managed to test everything we had planned to, including a number of new aero parts. The results from these tests are looking good which is positive. Tyre behaviour is the key at this track and that will be our focus tonight. We will be trying to get a bit more out of the shorter runs and maybe we can also still improve on the longer runs, although our long run pace is looking good at the moment so I’m hopeful that we can do well over the weekend.
I think it was a positive day. I’m happy with how the car shows its performance in the short runs and the long runs with the tyres. Maybe this is a better track for us than other tracks, I hope. But we just need to wait and see and try to do the best we can.