Williams expecting close battle

Williams expecting close battle

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen is confident that Williams can close the gap to Ferrari, the same as the team did last year. Williams had an unsteady start to 2003 but came back strong in the middle of the season. For 2004 there is again...

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen is confident that Williams can close the gap to Ferrari, the same as the team did last year. Williams had an unsteady start to 2003 but came back strong in the middle of the season. For 2004 there is again some hard work to put in before the Grove squad can beat Ferrari, but Theissen believes it can be done. He also expects strong competition from two other teams that are showing well so far.

Dr Mario Theissen and Patrick Head.
Photo by BMW PressClub.

"BAR has made the biggest step forward this year and I believe that we will be involved in a close battle with them and Renault over the course of the entire season," he said. "But our measures to improve the car are beginning to pay off, and I am confident that we will be able to close the gap to Ferrari just as we did over the course of the 2003 season."

Renault's strength so far in 2004 has been its reliability: both Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli have finished in the points every race. "Reliability was our major priority this winter, and we concentrated hard on it," said Rob White, Renault's engine technical director. "Our performance so far is a credit to all the engineers at Viry and Enstone who have worked very hard on this programme."

BAR, after Jenson Button's first pole position in San Marino, is aiming for its first win at the Spanish Grand Prix. "There's always Barcelona in a couple of weeks," said team boss David Richards after Button finished second at Imola. "We're getting used to being up front and hopefully that will continue."

Williams is currently testing at Silverstone, where test drivers Antonio Pizzonia and Marc Gen? topped the times on the first day and Ralf Schumacher and Gen? on the second. However, poor weather conditions at the circuit have prevented much work other than tyre testing. Renault is also at work at Silverstone, while Ferrari and BAR are on track at Mugello.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Patrick Head , David Richards , Mario Theissen
Teams Ferrari , Williams