Tech Talk with Sam Michael Q: AT&T Williams scored points in all but one of the European races. How satisfied were you with the team's performance? SM: We were quite good in terms of consistency and pulled in a lot of points. The only...
Tech Talk with Sam Michael
Q: AT&T Williams scored points in all but one of the European races. How satisfied were you with the team's performance?
SM: We were quite good in terms of consistency and pulled in a lot of points. The only exception was Monza, where the car was uncompetitive, but we expected that because we hadn't put a lot of effort into our low drag aerodynamic configuration. We chose to focus our development on the high downforce tracks that make up 90 percent of the calendar and that decision cost us last time out, but we didn't lose any ground to our nearest rivals in the championship.
Q: Which have been the team's best races in Europe?
SM: They've all been pretty good, except for Italy. The races that stand out are Germany and Hungary, where Nico [Rosberg] finished fourth, but Istanbul, Silverstone and Valencia were good as well.
Q: How much has Nico impressed you this year?
SM: He's been doing a good job and driving really well. This has been his most impressive season since he started driving for AT&T Williams in 2006; he's shown he's a capable driver and worthy of a place in the team.
Q: What sort of job has Kazuki done for you so far this year?
SM: He's had a frustrating year because he's done a better job than in 2008, but he's yet to score any points. He deserves to have some points to his name and if he had just half the points of Nico, we'd be in a much stronger position in the Constructors' Championship as well. But F1's very close this year and a 0.3s gap to Nico in qualifying places Kazuki a lot further back on the grid than it did last year.
Q: What can we expect from AT&T Williams at Singapore this weekend?
SM: Singapore sees Formula One return to a maximum downforce street track. The FW31 has been good on this type of track already this year, so I hope we'll be back in the points on Sunday.
Q: There's been a lot of speculation in the press about AT&T Williams' engine supply for 2010. What can you tell us about it?
SM: It's definitely going to be a 2.4-litre V8, but I can't say much more than that! All the engines on the grid are pretty similar in terms of power and weight, although fuel consumption will take on added significance next year with the ban on re-fuelling. I hope we'll be able to announce our plans soon.
Q: Is AT&T Williams continuing to develop KERS for 2010?
SM: We fully support the use of KERS and always have done. Given the environmental and sustainability pressures that Formula One is going to face in the future, KERS is a positive step for the sport. It's in next year's regulations, so we're continuing developing our system with a view to using it on next year's FW32.
Nico's Singapore Reflection
Nico Rosberg came second at last year's inaugural Singapore Grand Prix. We caught up with him ahead of this year's race to talk to him about his 2008 experience...
The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most exciting races of the year. It's a great city, with a great racetrack and a great atmosphere, and anyone who has the opportunity to go to the race should do so because it's really exciting.
It's a night race, of course, and a lot was made of the artificial lighting prior to last year's inaugural race. But visibility wasn't a problem; the biggest difficulties for the drivers were physical because it got really hot in the cockpit. One corner leads into another at the Marina Bay circuit, so you're always steering and that makes it quite challenging.
Despite being eight hours ahead of Europe, everyone remains on European time for the duration of the race weekend. That means going to bed at 0600 every morning, and I have no problem adapting to that at all! I love staying up all night and sleeping during the day. Last year I'd do my last interview at 0300, then go and meet my friends in the disco for half an hour before going to bed. It was pretty different.
AT&T Williams had a half-decent car in 2008, so I was able to qualify inside the top 10 and finish second in the race. It's hard to predict how we'll fare this year because it's getting tighter at the front, but the FW31 is a good car so I think we'll have a chance. I'll be giving it my best shot, as always.