Williams F1 was slow on Friday, Here’s why

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I must admit that I like Claire Williams and the new look, effort and outreach to the media they have displayed this year. I’ve never met Claire but I suspect I would give her a big hug for her efforts although I am sure she would recoil at the notion.

Williams F1 were a bit slower in practice than some may have expected but Williams have conveniently shared their Friday practice methodology with us in order that we may better understand just what a Friday practice means to the teams.

Oh sure, veteran journo’s and self-described Super Fans will say they know exactly what is going on but let me be truthful here–I am not completely sure what Williams is doing on a Friday so Ms. Williams PR efforts are a very welcome addition to my inbox. Here is what they were working on:

Objectives P1
• Validation of a new front wing
• Starts practice

Objectives P2
• Set-up work
• Tyre evaluations

With a ban on in-season testing, I can only imagine that Fridays have become work days for the teams. This is time to ferret our new kit, set-up’s, tire reliability and compounds.

It seems Williams was pleased with their efforts:

Adam Parr, Chairman

We had a very full programme today, working through the normal set-up routine and testing some development
parts. We’ve made good progress.

And how does Ruben Barrichello and Teammate Nico Hulkenburg feel about the days activities?

Rubens Barrichello
Runs P1: Run 1: New Prime (1 lap, install), Run 2: Used Prime (6 laps, baseline), Run 3: Used Prime (6 laps,
aero test), Run 4: Used Prime (4 laps, mechanical set-up)
Runs P2: Run 1: New Prime (6 laps, tyre evaluations), Run 2: Used Prime (12 laps, race set-up), Run 3: Used
Prime (5 laps, set-ups), Run 4: New Option (4 laps, tyre evaluations), Run 5: Used Option (3 laps, set-up)

Today went as planned working through set-ups and some aero modifications. We run the engine quite safe on
Fridays so our times are expected. Our target tomorrow is to get into qualifying three.

Nico Hulkenberg
Runs P1: Run 1: New Prime (1 lap, install), Run 2: Used Prime (5 laps, baseline), Run 3: Used Prime (5 laps,
aero test), Run 4: Used Prime (5 laps, aero test), Run 5: Used Prime (4 laps, mechanical set-up)
Runs P2: Run 1: New Option (5 laps, tyre evaluations), Run 2: Used Option (13 laps, set-ups), Run 3: New Prime
(4 laps, tyre evaluations, Run 4: Used Prime (7 laps, set-ups)

It was pretty hard work today. We have a few problems to solve before qualifying tomorrow, but I am confident
we will get there. We were running a new front wing on the car which gave us some positive results.

Williams F1 finished 15th and 17th respectively on Friday’s free practice two but they are clearly shooting for Q3 inclusion on Saturday’s qualifying session and I do hope the new wing will get them there.

Williams F1 were working on a program that was not necessarily about sheer pace. They were methodically going through a testing regimen that was intended on vetting the new wing and a plethora of other factors ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend. Let us hope the session was fruitful and that pace will return in spades.

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