Williams are heading into 2010 with a new Cosworth engine, the most experienced Formula 1 driver of all time in Rubens Barrichello, and a promising young German rookie in Nico Hulkenberg.
Technical director Sam Michael is positive ahead of the opening race in Bahrain after good pre-season testing. “The FW32 completed almost 7,000kms during winter testing with the new Cosworth engine installation. We have made great progress on reliability and we’re still working on improving that, albeit at high mileages that we shouldn’t encounter during race weekends.
Rubens Barrichello feels that he has settled well into the new team, and is positive about William’s prospects for 2010. “I’m delighted to be entering my eighteenth season. I’m so motivated and I’m in a much better physical condition than I have been at any other time. I’m also really happy to be driving for AT&T Williams. I’ve settled in well, and I already feel like I’ve been here five years!
“We covered a lot of miles with the car during winter testing, working on reliability during the first few tests and then some upgrades for Bahrain at the final two. In terms of set-up, reliability and drivability of the engine, we’ve done a good job. The car has improved a lot and the team have done well preparing me so I’m completely familiar with everything heading into the first race.
“I think we're strong, I’m optimistic, but it is very hard to draw a conclusion as to where we are so I’m going to wait and see. It’s going to be a fantastic season with the new teams, the new drivers and the new regulations.”
Hulkenberg is excited about joining the Formula 1 grid, and can’t wait to see how he performs against the world’s best drivers. “Being a Formula One driver is a great feeling and I’m very excited about going to Bahrain. I learnt a lot as the team’s test driver, which has prepared me well for the season ahead. Working in the factory has also helped give me more of a technical understanding of the car, it won’t make me quicker, but it will help me with set-up.
“Winter testing was good for us. Having completed a good amount of mileage, we are well placed going into the season. The Cosworth engine is also looking strong; it’s powerful and reliable. We have potential, but we have to wait to see where the competition is. It’s going to be an exciting season and I can’t wait to start it!”