Williams are hoping to build on their single point earned in Bahrain as they look ahead to this weekends Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne.
Rubens Barrichello, who finished second in last year’s race, is a big fan of the place, and thinks that his team should improve on their result in Bahrain. “Melbourne is a great place for a Grand Prix. The racing is always competitive so it's a good track from a fan perspective; it's also a very social city so it's nice to hang out there. I like Albert Park a lot. It doesn't really feel like a street circuit, it's very challenging and has some interesting corners to negotiate. We had some minor problems in Bahrain but we have resolved them now for Australia. I'm positive we will have a stronger race this weekend.”
Barrichello’s rookie teammate Nico Hulkenberg has never driven the track before, but is hoping to improve on his performance in his debut race. “As a circuit, I don’t know Albert Park at all as I haven't raced there yet. I spent a few days in the factory last week going through practice runs on the simulator and running through data with my engineers which was really helpful but nothing beats having time on the track itself.
“Bahrain wasn’t the best race for me, but there were some positives to be taken from it because it highlighted where we need to do some more work. I'm hoping that we will have a more successful weekend in Australia as a result of what I learnt in Bahrain, and what the team have worked on since we came home.”
Williams technical director Sam Michael thinks that tyre management will be the key to success down under. “Albert Park is a low grip street circuit, and you're normally on the limit when it comes to tyre graining. As a result, careful management of car set-up throughout the weekend is a pre-requisite. We will have some improvements for the FW32 in Australia that we will roll out during Friday's practice sessions. It’s going to be a really interesting weekend in terms of seeing how the teams perform on such a different track in comparison to Sakhir. In terms of strategy, Bahrain gave a good indication as to what will be the most likely pit strategy for Melbourne.”
Photo credit: Andrew Ferraro /LAT Photographic