The AT&T Williams team have completed a successful opening day of running ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai with objectives for the team in FP1 to check the validation of a new front wing for the FW32, as well as getting some starting practice in as well.
The weather for session one was cold but sunny, and the team's drivers, experienced Brazilian Rubens Barrichello and young German Nico Hulkenberg finished the session down in fourteenth and sixteenth overall; Hulkenberg getting the better of Barrichello.
Both the team's drivers drove a single lap on a set of new prime tyres before returning to the pits and change to a set of used prime tyres. The rest of the session saw both drivers remain on the used tyres, as they completed similar testing programmes.
Hulkenberg finish fourteenth in the session on a 1:38.569, after completing twenty laps while Barrichello completed a seventeen lap session, with a fastest lap of 1:38.678, leaving him sixteenth overall.
The second session saw the team move their efforts towards finding the ideal set up for the race and evaluation how the tyres provided by Bridgestone will work this weekend. The session saw both drivers work to the same test format, using both tyres provided.
Both Barrichello and Hulkenberg used new tyres for the tyre evaluation work and used tyres to work on the set ups. The weather for Free Practice two had warmed up compared to the first session of the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix weekend.
It was a case of positions reversed for the team as Barrichello completed a thirty lap session with a best time of 1:37.657, placing him in fifteenth while Hulkenberg completed a lap less and finished seventeenth overall, having finished with a best time of 1:37.867.
AT&T Williams Chairman, Adam Parr is pleased with the teams' progress on day one: “We had a very full programme today, working through the normal set-up routine and testing some development parts. We've made good progress.”
Barrichello said about his day's work: “Today went as planned working through set-ups and some aero modifications. We run the engine quite safe on Fridays so our times are expected. Our target tomorrow is to get into qualifying three.”
Hulkenberg added: “It was pretty hard work today. We have a few problems to solve before qualifying tomorrow, but I am confident we will get there. We were running a new front wing on the car which gave us some positive results.”
The team have a final practice session ahead of qualifying tomorrow, with the race on Sunday.