Q&A with Sam Michael after Melbourne
Sam Michael, Williams F1 technical director
Q: It was a pretty chaotic Australian Grand Prix. What are your thoughts on Rubens’ eighth
It was good to get some more points on the board, but we still have a lot of work to do to improve in all areas.
Q: Rubens was the only driver to fit the hard tyre at his second pit stop. Why did he do this, and did it cost him lap time?
We discussed it as a team and took the decision together. In hindsight, however, it probably wasn’t the correct choice and we should have run the option tyre.
Q: Nico was taken out by Kobayashi on the opening lap. Prior to that, had you seen him take a step forward from Bahrain?
Nico is a fast driver. He’s still finding his feet as this is only his first season in Formula One. He’s smart, and he knows what he has to do. I have 100% confidence in him delivering for the team.
Q: The team experimented with a new shark engine cover during Friday’s practice. Was it a
We tested an extended engine cover fin but we didn’t like the results it gave during practice so we reverted back to the standard bodywork for qualifying and the race. We haven’t abandoned it; we will probably run it again at a race in the near future.
Q: Did either FW32 experience any reliability issues during the weekend?
We had one problem during the Saturday morning practice session on Nico’s car. Apart from
that, there were no reliability issues.
Q: There was significantly more overtaking in Australia than there was in Bahrain, even when the track was dry. Why do you think that was the case?
I think the fact that the start of the race was wet certainly helped. There were also some cars that were out of their normal performance positions as well (like Hamilton, Webber and Alonso), which helped shake things up a bit.
Q: Looking ahead to Malaysia next weekend, what are your hopes for AT&T Williams?
We need to get both cars into the top ten in qualifying, that’s our key target.