Williams F1 team arrive in Australia with a ‘positive frame of mind’, having met all their objectives during pre-season testing in Spain.
Last year saw a turnaround by the Grove based squad as they came out of wilderness to score podiums on a regular basis. And having taken enough positive clues from their 2015 challenger, the team is looking forward to another strong season.
‘On the back of what has been a really good winter test where we met all of our objectives we are heading to Melbourne in a really positive frame of mind,’’ said Rob Smedley, team’s head of vehicle dynamics. “We have been testing at circuits that don’t play fully to the strengths of the FW37 so we are looking forward to the first few races which should suit the FW37s characteristics more”.
Valtteri Bottas who finished fourth in the championship last year insisted upon making most of the early races, fearing their rivals with be closer as the season progress.
“A new season and the first time we see where everyone is competitively,’’ the Finn was quoted in team’s press release. The weekend will be interesting but also important as we have to be able to have a strong start and make sure we gain the most from the weekend, especially as other teams improve.”
“You never know how other teams will progress throughout the season, so points here are key. I like Melbourne, the first race is really when the gloves come off so qualifying will be an exciting session,’’ he added.
Felipe Massa reiterated Bottas’ words and asked the team to build a sufficient buffer over the rest of the field(bar Mercedes, of course)!
“Being the first race, Australia is important and normally holds a few surprises,’’ said the Brazilian.“All of the hard work over the winter gets its first rewards here, but it can also show a sign of how much work is still to be done.
“It’s important to start well and give yourself potentially a head start over your competitors. Australia is a tough track though and the rear stability is important. I also hope that I personally have a better start to the season than last year!,’’ he concluded.
The Australian Grand Prix takes place at Melbourne’s Albert Park Circuit between March 13-15.