Williams duo gearing up for Melbourne

Williams duo gearing up for Melbourne

The Australian Grand Prix is just three weeks away and Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya are keen to get the 2004 season going. The team has been testing extensively over the winter, breaking a few lap records on the way, and...

The Australian Grand Prix is just three weeks away and Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya are keen to get the 2004 season going. The team has been testing extensively over the winter, breaking a few lap records on the way, and aims to get a better start to this championship year than last. Everyone hopes to have a points advantage when F1 heads to San Marino after the first three fly away races.

Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Photo by Sutton Motorsport Images.
"If you've got a few points in your pocket before coming back to Europe it makes life a whole lot easier," Schumacher told the team website. The German had scored eight points by the time Imola came round in 2003.

Montoya has finished second in Melbourne the last two seasons, although a late spin in 2003 lost him the victory. Naturally the Colombian is hoping to make up for it this time: "Fortunately, I still managed to finish in second," he commented. "As I also came second the year before it would be great to improve and maybe win this year."

"The Albert Park track is pretty unique, and quite unlike any other circuit on the calendar," he added. "More importantly, it is very different from anywhere that we test during the winter months so it's always interesting to see what the new car's like."

Williams wrapped up a five-day test at Jerez on February 15th, where work focused on mechanical and aerodynamic set up with the FW26 in preparation for the first GP. Wet weather tyre tests were also on the agenda.

"Although we experienced some minor gearbox problems during the test, we believe we've made some good progress towards solving these," said chief operations engineer Sam Michael.

"The performance of the FW26 is getting better, and we are now looking forward to the next test in Valencia where we will introduce some new parts we intend to run at the Australian Grand Prix."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams