Williams Hungarian Grand Prix post race summary SYNOPSIS The AT&T Williams team collected another two points following Nico's seventh placed finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix, strengthening fifth position in the Constructors' Championship and...
Williams Hungarian Grand Prix post race summary
The AT&T Williams team collected another two points following Nico's seventh placed finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix, strengthening fifth position in the Constructors' Championship and elevating Rosberg's standing in the Drivers' table.
The team opened the weekend with constructive Friday practice sessions, with both Nico and Alex afforded cockpit time while Kazuki Nakajima fulfilled his GP2 commitments. On a very green track, the drivers recorded almost 500kms while working through the standard set-up programme. With graining a problem for all the teams, particular emphasis was placed on managing the Bridgestone Potenzas. Despite a minor electrical fault on Alex's car, both drivers reported their FW29s to be in good health ahead of qualifying, and the team concluded the day with Nico setting the fourth and Alex the 12th fastest times.
A scheduled engine change on Alex's car was carried out on Friday evening, while Nico's engine, having completed 300kms less that it was designed to do following his premature exit from the European GP, was carried over. Tyre graining was an issue during Saturday morning's practice session, as most of the rubber laid down on Friday was washed away by overnight rain. Having run two runs on the soft and two on the super soft tyres, Nico and Alex ended the third practice session in sixth and 10th places, respectively, with a quiet confidence going in to qualifying.
Both drivers progressed easily through Q1. Unfortunately, Alex had an issue with his radio that the team later fixed for the race. In Q2, Alex had a balance issue at Turn 6/7 chicane that cost him a slot in Q3 and he finished qualifying in P13. Nico produced a strong qualifying effort, making it into Q3 for the sixth time this season and into P5 on the grid for the race. Alonso and Fisichella's subsequent penalties promoted both drivers a place on the grid, albeit moving both Rosberg and Wurz on to the dirty side of the track.
Nico and Alex made good starts, with Nico fending off the Toyota of Ralf Schumacher in the first couple of corners. He made steady progress during his first stint, but Ralf's long second stint caused Nico to lose position. Nico's three stop strategy was the most efficient option, and allowed him to fight for P7 rather than P9 that would have resulted from a two stop alternative and may have resulted in no points.
Alex wasn't as lucky in his opening lap as he lost position to Davidson's Super Aguri. Davidson's slower car on a circuit with limited overtaking opportunities prevented Alex from benefiting from a two stop strategy, leaving his race effectively compromised from the start. Alex spent the latter part of the race battling for position with Fisichella and Massa. 13th place looked a certainty until the Spyker of Adrian Sutil pushed him onto the grass and down to a frustrating 14th at the finish line.
TYRES & FUEL
Nico ran a three stop strategy for the race while Alex ran a two stopper. With the soft and the super soft Bridgestone Potenzas available, both drivers opted to run the prime tyre in their first stints and the option tyre in their final stint.
SYSTEMS & RELIABILITY
The team suffered just two minor technical issues in the run-up to the race, namely an electrical fault on Alex's car, while his radio also failed during round two of qualifying. Both issues were identified and rectified immediately. Otherwise, the two cars were reliable all weekend.
The three week break prevents the team from any track testing prior to the Turkish Grand Prix, so the factory will be working through an extensive list of items in the wind tunnel.
"It was a good race for Nico this weekend and he was finally able to convert his efforts into valuable points for the team. On the other hand, Alex worked hard but had a less successful weekend. We've made some strong steps on reliability and our focus is mainly on performance for the remaining races. Nico's best race lap was 0.6secs slower than the fastest, better but there is still work to do."