Williams techical director Sam Michael is predicting that tyre management will be particularly important in this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix based on the Friday practice sessions in Montreal.
Michael also said that the upgrades Williams had brought to North America would be used on both FW32s, and explained the problem that blighted Ruben Barrichello’s afternoon session:
“We tested new aero components today and everything worked well, so all of these will all be carried forward for the race for both cars,” said Michael. “Unfortunately we had a problem with the hydraulics on Ruben's car, the exact cause of which we have not yet determined. This was quite costly, losing almost half of the second practice session this afternoon and we will be relying on his experience to catch up. In summary, it looks like tyre management will be the key to this weekend.”
Despite his problems today, Barrichello thinks that the upgrades Williams have brought to Canada should help him come race day: “We have quite a lot of new development parts for this circuit which has definitely made the car more competitive. I hope that with this progression forward that we can do well here, especially as this our only visit to North America and we have plenty of guests and sponsors supporting us.”
Nico Hulkenberg, who is racing in Canada for the first time in F1, said he enjoys the challenge that the Montreal circuit poses. “The circuit here is so narrow compared to places like Turkey,” said the German. “It's great and much more exciting to race close to the wall as opposed to 200 metres away.
“In terms of progress today, we got through the programme but didn't end up with exactly the results we wanted. I am struggling to find balance with the car, but I am confident we will achieve something here.”
Barrichello finished the day 12th fastest, one position higher than Hulkenberg.