The Williams Martini Racing team arrive at Hockenheim this weekend having secured two podium finishes in the last two races with Valterri Bottas, while team-mate Felipe Massa took pole position in Austria. The team are fast becoming the second best team in F1 after Mercedes, and they have momentum moving forward.
Bottas arrives at Hockenheim on the crest of a wave and on the back of two consecutive podium finishes. The Finn is looking forward to his first race at Hockenheim and hopes to take another good haul of points away from Germany.
“Hockenheim is a great race, the fans are very passionate and a lot of people come to watch,” said Bottas. “Overtaking is possible so good racing is expected. I think it should be a circuit that suits our car; the old circuit would have been perfect. I hope we can continue the good form we have had in the last three races and I am looking forward to a good weekend and some more points.”
Team-mate Massa was an innocent victim of Kimi Raikkonen’s massive first lap crash at Silverstone, but is confident of having a good race in Germany in what appears to be strong Williams car. He feels the German track should be easier to overtake on than others.
“Germany is a good track as you can overtake easier than some places as the straight is long and you can use the DRS to get past,” said Massa. “The track demands good downforce, especially the last sector so we have been working to improve that. We have been building on what is a good car, so I am confident that we can continue the moment and have a good performance.”
Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley feels the German track will suit the Williams car much like the Silverstone circuit did two weeks ago, and is hoping for a strong race result for both drivers.
“We haven’t been to Hockenheim for two years as a team because you alternate the tracks in Germany but I think that it can be a good track for us,” said Smedley. “It’s like Silverstone in the way that it’s quite an efficient track. There’s good power sensitivity with the long straights, which will be good for us.
“In terms of tyres, we will use both soft and super-soft. It’s often cold and rainy as it was during qualifying last time we went there in 2012, alternatively, it can be really hot and that can affect the rear tyres, meaning you must keep both temperatures and graining under control. That is our key focus going into the race weekend, and we hope to come out with more good points.”
Just like at Silverstone, Williams will hand free practice one over to test driver Susie Wolff. She will take over the car to be driven for the rest of the weekend by Massa, and will hope to get more running than she did at Silverstone when she was forced to stop on track after just four laps with a power unit failure.