Williams may have finished Friday practice in sixteenth and seventeenth places on the timesheets in Singapore today, but both drivers seem reasonably optimistic that the team can pick things up before qualifying.
There were plenty of upgrades to test for Williams in Free Practice 1, but the session was unfortunately truncated by 30 minutes whilst repairs were made to the track. Once underway, further track time was eaten up by a couple of red flag periods.
“That was a fairly compressed practice day due to the long red flag period in the first session,” said outgoing technical director Sam Michael. “We had quite a few upgrades to test and now have lots of data to run through this evening to prepare for qualifying. The new parts were working ok aerodynamically, but we did have a problem with the rear wing actuator in first practice. The only other issue we had was quite a bit of bodywork damage from running over the kerbs which we will repair this evening.”
Rubens Barrichello, who was the faster of the two drivers today, seemed quite enthused about the new upgrades that he had been testing, and is optimistic that Williams will get more performance from his FW33 for Saturday.
“We had an effective morning during which we managed to try out various different things,” said the Brazilian. “The afternoon brought a few issues and so we were not able to run as much as we would have liked. We will iron out those areas tonight in order to find some more performance in the car.”
Pastor Malonado, who is visiting Singapore for the first time this weekend, is also sound positive as he looks ahead to qualifying. “We haven't achieved the optimum set-up yet as we have some issues with the aero balance on the car but we can work through those now and in tomorrow's practice,” said the Venezuelan. “With more rubber going down, the track will improve and so will the car so I think we can be optimistic for qualifying.”