Question and answer session with Williams' Team Principal Frank Williams and Technical Director Patrick Head. What is your view on the competition this year? Frank Williams (FW): Sauber have done lots of homework, lots of testing and know...
Question and answer session with Williams' Team Principal Frank Williams and Technical Director Patrick Head.
What is your view on the competition this year?
Frank Williams (FW): Sauber have done lots of homework, lots of testing and know what they want to achieve. Our friends from Renault are very capable of getting there also.
Patrick Head (PH): Yes, Sauber have benefitted from Ferrari support and always produce well engineered cars. They could bring in a suprise. B.A.R are not quite front row material but have shown good stable endurance runs.
With Ferarri supporting Sauber like that do you think BMW will supply another team?
PH: BMW came into Formula One to illustrate their technical excellence. What would their motivation be?
What do you think of Ferrari using their old car (for the first Grand Prix)?
PH: It's a quick old car!
How well do you think that Ferrari would do without Michael Schumacher?
PH: Michael's whole conduct is a differentiating factor, his total involvement makes an enormous difference. He is a thinker.
Would Michael make a difference to WilliamsF1?
FW: No. We have two great drivers.
Is there still friction between Ralf and Juan?
FW: No. No friction between them.
PH: Sam Michael reported during testing that they were getting on like a 'house on fire'! It's in both their interests to work together, they are different characters and communicate on a technical level.
Do you think McLaren will be competitive considering their new driver and the opening of (their new factory called) Paragon?
FW: Well Ron Dennis is an outstanding manager, very well organised.
PH: Paragon must be a distraction however, a whole new factory.
...and David Coulthard's chances?
PH: A critical year for DC. He's very much at home on the faster circuits and of course he's very experienced but so much governed by the car he sits in.
Do you think McLaren have produced a good car this year?
PH: They seem to have really pushed the boat out with a very adventurous car.
How about young Kimi Raikkonen?
PH: Very special.
FW: Remarkable. Probably had as good a year as Jenson in 2000.
...and how about Jenson. What about his future?
FW: I had a few chats with Jenson during last season. I hold him in very high regard. Of course I shall be observing him this year as we have a vested interest. This young man was born to be a racing driver.
PH: Jenson needs to have a good season and testing has looked encouraging for him.
Kimi and Jenson are both about 22 years old. Is there an optimum age in F1?
FW: No, miles on the clock are what count.
Who do your think will succeed Max and Bernie in the future?
FW: I don't care about succession as long as there is a better share of the money amongst the teams.
What about Leo Kirsch and the troubles he is in. Do you think that Bernie will buy back the F1 rights?
FW: He could well buy back the rights. He loves property and making money!, but like all good businessmen they never let you know their plans.