European GP: Williams preview
21 June, 2010
Jun.21 (Grand Prix 247) AT&T Williams F1 team preview the European Grand Prix in Valencia, round nine of the Formula 1 World Championship.
Sam Michael, Technical Director
From Montreal we’re moving back to Europe and to the fourth street circuit of the year. Valencia has been a welcome addition to the calendar since it joined the schedule in 2008. The 5.4km lap is made up of 25 corners, which should conspire to make a tight and twisty track, but instead the drivers actually get into quite a good rhythm around Valencia. Speeds tend to average out around the lap at around 200kph.
As a street circuit the teams do face certain challenges over the weekend. The track provides little grip at the outset, the multitude of corners place some considerable stress on the tyres and the coastal location can whip up some sea breezes which can affect the balance of the car. As overtaking opportunities are also limited around Valencia, a good grid position is important. We’ve secured points at each of the two races in Valencia, and that is our aim again this time round. We will have further upgrades on the FW32, including the development blown rear wing.
I have great memories of Valencia. I won the race there last year, it was my tenth win so it was great fun. It was also significant because it really pulled me back into contention for the championship. Cosworth is doing well to improve its consistency and the team are bringing some more upgrades to Spain so I’m looking forward to seeing where their combined efforts put us. The challenge in Valencia is to get into Q3 and score some points.
Valencia is a great track, I really like it. I know it well from racing there in GP2 last year and I’m very much looking forward to driving it in the FW32 because it’s a circuit I feel quite comfortable on. Like Monaco and Montreal, there are walls everywhere but the track’s a bit wider and I like the challenge.
We’ll have more new parts for this race but we’ll have to wait and see what improvements they bring to the car. We are inching a bit closer to the top ten, as we showed in qualifying in Montreal, but we have to continue pushing and gain more tenths to get into the top ten consistently.
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