The two Williams drivers today completed over 50 each as they prepare for the weekend which, the team hope, should see their first race finish of the season.
Rubens Barrichello spent the two Friday practice sessions testing a new exhaust system, but is unsure if the team will use the new parts in Sunday’s race.
“We were testing new parts on my car in practice today,” the Brazilian explained. “They seemed to lose a little bit of performance towards the end of the last session though which means we'll have to work hard to evaluate them properly. We need to go through the data to see whether we will keep to this plan or go back to the original one.”
Team-mate Pastor Maldonado did not have the new device on his car. The Venezuelan rookie spent his day familiarising himself with the circuit and optimising the set-up of his FW33.
“Today went well and we've learnt a lot,” he said. “I did lots of miles which is useful because this is my first time at this circuit. The car felt good, especially on the long runs in P2. We don't know where the others are or what fuel they're running, but I think we're looking better here than we were in Malaysia.”
Williams technical director Sam Michael said that the team had not yet decided whether or not to use the new exhaust system on Barrichello’s car for the remainder of the weekend, but said that it had been a useful day for the team.
“After a productive morning with both cars, we had some issues with the new exhaust system we're running on Rubens' FW33 in the second session,” he explained. “We’ll now review the data to decide whether or not to race it. That aside, we covered good mileage on the Option tyre which has given us some solid data for the race. We will fit new engines in both cars for tomorrow.”