Rob Smedley: “Our Long Runs Look Competitive”


The Williams Martini Racing team came into Monza believing their car would suit the Italian track, and the initial signs are they are correct. Both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa look strong, particularly over longer runs, and both will be hoping to continue their positive start to the weekend on Saturday.

Bottas was happy with the new aerodynamic package on his Williams, and was especially pleased with the long run pace of his car that on face value at least looked one of the best of anyone in the field.

“We tested the new aero package today which works well,” said Bottas. “With the low downforce the car does slide a bit more, but it’s manageable. I am really pleased with the long run pace, but think there is a little more to get from it.

“Qualifying is going to be tight tomorrow, so we are all ready to work hard tonight and find all the gains we can.”

Team-mate Massa finished thirteenth in the first session and ninth in the second, but believes there is still more to come from the Williams and insists he will be working hard with his engineers overnight to make improvements.

“The day was ok; we have a lot of work to do overnight and some more tomorrow,” said Massa. “We can still make improvements and move further up to be a strong challenger to the teams at the top.

“We have worked hard throughout the day and completed our programme, so tomorrow we will be able to compare our pace to everyone else’s.”

Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley was in a positive frame of mind and was happy with the work the team managed to put in on Friday, especially as they were able to get through more than just their planned programme on track.

“We completed all the work we had planned, plus a bit extra so I am happy with the day,” said Smedley. “We have some key data from the aero work and the tyre management was good. Our long runs look competitive and both sets of tyres were manageable.

“We have to do a lot of work together now to prepare for tomorrow, but it’s encouraging to get off to a positive start today.”