Williams technical director Sam Michael has said that the accidents suffered by his drivers in Monaco have affected the team’s preparation for this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.
Michael has explained how the huge shunts for Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello in the last race have meant that Williams have been busy building replacement parts for the FW32s, and as a result will not be using completely up-to-date front wings in Istanbul.
“We’ve spent the past week or so manufacturing new parts in readiness for Istanbul after the damage we sustained in Monaco,” revealed Michael. “All of the items that needed replacing have been replaced now, apart from the front wings which require more time. As a result, we have to revert back to a previous specification for this race and wait until Montreal for the updated version.”
Rumours circulating in recent days have suggested that the team are looking for a new engine supplier for next season, with Renault being touted as a possible replacement for Cosworth. However, the Williams technical director has said the team have been collaborating closely with their current supplier to improve performance:
“Cosworth have been working hard on the issues we have been seeing during the first part of the season and have had some positive indications from their dyno work,” said Michael. “Istanbul will be an opportunity for us to test how these solutions look on the track. In line with our development programme, both FW32s will have new brake ducts for Istanbul and some additional mechanical changes.”
Rubens Barrichello was visibly frustrated with the way his Monaco Grand Prix ended, and is now looking forward to driving around the Istanbul Park circuit with its fast sweeping corners. “Returning from Monaco with a DNF for both cars was very disappointing for the team,” said the Brazilian, “particularly as we now know the cause of my accident. I know everyone has been working hard in the factory, so we are all looking to have a much better race in Turkey.
“Istanbul is a favourite track of mine,” Barrichello added. “It has a good layout; the corners all flow nicely into each other and that makes it a smooth lap to drive. Because the circuit runs anti-clockwise, the lefthanders can be quite a challenge on your neck muscles but we all do extra training to compensate for that. Personally turn 8, a high speed, triple apexer, is the best part of the track as it’s a real test.”
Nico Hulkenberg, Williams’ rookie driver, is also keen to get to Turkey, a track he knows well from his GP2 days. “Turkey is a real about turn after Monaco; everything is pretty much the complete opposite. The track goes in an anti-clockwise direction, it has lots of long straights and quick corners so you can get into a nice rhythm around the lap and there’s loads of room!
“I think at its widest the track reaches about 20m so there should be plenty of opportunities to overtake. The long, ultra-fast turn 8 complex is probably the most challenging part of the lap, for the drivers and the cars, but I’m really looking forward to running it in a Formula One car.
I have experience of the circuit from my GP2 days and enjoyed racing it then. It’s always helpful to have prior knowledge of a track so you aren’t going into practice blind so you can just concentrate on set-up straight away.
“After another frustrating end to a race last weekend in Monaco, I’m keen to have a better weekend in Turkey.”