Williams programme curtailed by rain in free practice

Williams’ friday practice programme, which involved testing new aero parts and set-up work, was hit by afternoon rain in Melbourne today.

Technical director Sam Michael summarised the day succinctly, and also revealed the team’s thinking on the soft tyre Bridgestone have brought to Albert Park. “Today our programme involved working on mechanical set-up changes and testing revised aero parts for the FW32. We managed to evaluate most of the parts, but our schedule in session two was reduced by the wet weather. From the limited data we collected on the option tyre, it looks like it will be a stable tyre during the race.”

Barrichello was full of praise for this team after the wet weather in the second session, but still thinks they have more to do if he is to get a top-ten grid slot tomorrow, despite finishing the rain-hit session ninth. “The rain came in P2, it affected everyone. The team did a really good job sending me out at the right times whenthe track was dry so we collected as much information as we could considering the conditions. There is still quitea lot of work to be done in order to get us through to Q3 tomorrow.”

Nico Hulkenberg was completing his first laps of Albert Park in an F1 car today, and sounded positive afterwards. “Albert Park is quite a cool track; I really enjoyed it out there. It's very bumpy, but definitely good fun. Running inthe second session was interrupted by the weather so we didn't get as much time as we wanted, but I feelfamiliar with the track now and comfortable with the car.”

Photo credit: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic