Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1: "Kazuki was back in the cockpit today working through last minute reliability and performance items that required sign-off for Melbourne. We have put over 8,000kms on the FW31 in the last two months...
Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1:
"Kazuki was back in the cockpit today working through last minute reliability and performance items that required sign-off for Melbourne. We have put over 8,000kms on the FW31 in the last two months and, while there are always areas that require attention, reliability has been good. We've also been working hard with Toyota to achieve good reliability on the engine's working range, which has been subject to a reduction in revs but an increase in mileage. Considering the time we've had to do this, the work has gone well.
At Williams, we are fortunate in that we have an exceptionally strong group of people on our test team who really are the unsung heroes of the sport. Our crew has worked flat out over the winter, repeatedly taking the FW31 apart and putting it back together, checking everything over and over again to ensure reliability and re-building the car after incidents, all of which is usually done late into the night. We thank them for their tremendous efforts over the past few months and for their contribution to the FW31."
"Firstly, I think we've had a successful run of winter testing. We've managed to put a lot of mileage on the car, mainly because we haven't experienced any reliability issues. The team have done a lot of work on the car throughout this process and it's looking quite good, but we will have to wait to see where everyone really is. I'm really excited about going to Australia and can't wait to get there now. Many thanks to everyone at the factory for all their hard work, and especially thanks to the guys on the test team."
"Now that we've reached the end of testing, I think that we are probably in a strong mid-field position, but we will have to wait until Melbourne to be certain. There's great potential for development over the year with the new rules. If we take the right direction with that development from the outset, it will help us make good steps forward, so we will be pushing hard to make that happen.
I'd like to thank everyone at the factory for their hard work with the FW31 but particularly the test team for their motivation and drive throughout the winter despite any uncertainties there might be following the in-season test ban that has been put into place. On the back of a difficult season last year, it's been great to see everyone's determination and I am grateful for all their efforts."