The AT&T Williams team completed a full programme of preparatory work in today's two practice sessions for this Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, interrupted only by a problem with a clutch release bearing for Kazuki Nakajima in the morning session,...
The AT&T Williams team completed a full programme of preparatory work in today's two practice sessions for this Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, interrupted only by a problem with a clutch release bearing for Kazuki Nakajima in the morning session, which was quickly rectified. With a new asphalt surface at the Sepang Circuit, a wide variety of set- up options were tried and all-important tyre options progressed ahead of a final hour of practice tomorrow morning. Weather reports suggested a possibility of rain, but both sessions were completed in the dry despite the humidity nudging 72% later in the afternoon.
The track is quite different here now because of the new asphalt, so in many ways I think everyone is starting from zero. From our point of view, it was a good step forward over Australia to get a full day of track running today. Performance-wise, the car seems pretty good straight out of the box here and I am pretty happy with what we achieved. We tried plenty of things just to see what was what, but the track ramped up a lot in the second session in particular, so it will make the set-up call quite difficult, but I am pretty satisfied with our work today.
It was quite hot today! Of course it was a shame to miss some track time this morning with the problem we had, but nevertheless, I still managed to record fifteen timed laps in the last 30 minutes of the morning session, so I didn't miss out on much. We still have to address a few things on the car tomorrow in terms of the set-up, but it improved throughout the second session and towards the end of the 90 minutes, I was starting to find a better balance.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
We had a productive day's running and ran through all of our programme on both cars, checking cooling and the two different tyres to decide how we will use them in the strategy on Sunday. In the first session we had a clutch release bearing problem on Kazuki's car. The mechanics did a really good job and turned this around quickly to minimise the time lost. We'll look at the data now and see what additional set-up changes we will consider for tomorrow on top of those we tried today.