As a largely new venue for Formula One, the AT&T Williams team spent much of Friday at the Fuji Speedway validating work done by simulation prior to arriving in Japan against the reality of running on this heavily revised circuit for the first...
As a largely new venue for Formula One, the AT&T Williams team spent much of Friday at the Fuji Speedway validating work done by simulation prior to arriving in Japan against the reality of running on this heavily revised circuit for the first time in over thirty years.
Progress was positive, with both drivers comfortably running in the top ten in the morning before the team turned their attention to long run work in the afternoon session. The team also confirmed today that Nico Rosberg's car requires an unscheduled engine change, which will result in the German driver sustaining a ten place grid penalty for Sunday.
"The track here at Fuji is a lot of fun to drive, it's very cool. It has taken a bit of time to learn it, so even though we've had two sessions today, there are still some tricks to pick up. In terms of tyres, it is again pretty close between the two options we have, so it will be interesting to see what everyone else does, but regardless, it doesn't seem too complicated and both tyres seem to work well."
"The circuit has a whole range of demands - low downforce here, high downforce there, so we have been trying lots of options and I think we arrived at some good conclusions for tomorrow."
"As a new circuit, Fuji is very interesting. I think it is quite a tricky circuit, especially because in the last half of the lap you have to be very gentle with the car - if you make a mistake you lose half a second, which is really penalising. As a consequence, it requires plenty of discipline."
"Having worked through our tyre comparison and set-up options, I've got a pretty clear picture of what the car needs, but even with the car optimised, you cannot change the fact that this is a very tricky circuit, but this will make the weekend interesting."
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
"We had a good day today and worked through all of our programme. With this being a new circuit, the simulator proved quite useful in our preparation for coming here. Obviously, however, we had to do a lot of systems checks today to make sure we choose the right pit strategy and tyre choice for Sunday. We also investigated details such as pitlane loss times. We will work hard overnight to prepare for qualifying tomorrow."
Chassis/engine: FW29-05 / H169
Practice session 1: 1:20.058 (5th) 26 laps
Practice session 2: 1:20.270 (13th) 43 laps
Chassis/engine: FW29-03 / H176
Practice session 1: 1:20.411 (7th) 24 laps
Practice session 2: 1:20.233 (12th) 37 laps