Williams had been hoping to fight with Ferrari right from the start of the this season but technical director Patrick Head admitted that the team's performance so far is not as good as expected. Four races into 2004, Williams is currently third in...
Williams had been hoping to fight with Ferrari right from the start of the this season but technical director Patrick Head admitted that the team's performance so far is not as good as expected. Four races into 2004, Williams is currently third in the constructors' championship, behind Ferrari and Renault and tied on points with BAR. It's hardly a disaster, and the team has been competitive, but Williams wants to be fighting with Ferrari, not fending off Renault and BAR.
"It was not a very encouraging performance from our point of view," Head said in regard to the San Marino GP, where Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher finished third and seventh respectively. "We were hoping to be fully competitive with Ferrari this season but it has just not happened."
"The fact that there are two other Michelin teams who are pretty equal to us and making improvements has made matters more difficult. You have to say that Jenson (Button) and BAR have taken a step closer to Ferrari this season and that means that we all have to make another step to catch up as well. That is what we are planning to do."
Montoya was amazed by pole-man Button's early race pace at Imola. "I couldn't believe the first lap. He was like on rails. He was unbelievable," the Colombian said in the post race press conference. "I knew what pace we could do and we did it. We were a bit surprised by their pace really. There's nothing we can do, the car's just not quick enough."
The distance between Ferrari and Williams over the Imola weekend did not come as a surprise to BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen. "The gap to the Ferrari during the race was about one second per lap which matched what we had expected beforehand," he commented. "We obviously need to improve our overall performance."