Formula 1

Williams show top-ten pace in Friday practice

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Williams managed to test some new parts, evaluate the two tyre compounds, complete some set-up work, and look reasonably competitive in Friday practice today at Hockenheim.

Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg finished the day ninth and tenth fastest respectively, and they also got some wet-weather testing done after intermittent rain disrupted the morning practice session.

Technical director Sam Michael sounded pleased with the amount of work that Williams got done today, and is hoping to build on the good results of recent races this weekend: “We had a good day's practice and got through some of our planned schedule which included assessing some new parts. We also covered the usual Friday items such as set-up, cooling and tyres.

“The car looks reasonable and we need to continue the trend from the last few races. We ran some new parts on both cars today and they are all working as expected and will be carried forward. Additionally, Rubens is running a further step on the diffuser.”

This relatively new Hockenheim layout, with its slow, twisty end section, is a bit different from the last venue – Silverstone – where Rubens Barrichello finished in fifth place. The Brazilian is relieved to find that, on today’s evidence, the car is just as competitive around here.

“It was a good, mixed up day in terms of the weather and we tried everything tyre-wise from full wets through to slicks,” Barrichello said. “I am happy that we have moved on to another circuit and the car has maintained its competitiveness in all the different conditions we encountered.

“Equally, we need to find whatever improvement we can tomorrow in order to be sure of a top ten qualifying result.”

Nico Hulkenberg is racing in front of a German crowd for the first time in Formula 1, and was pleased with how the first day went. “It was a positive Friday, not only did I feel good in the car, but there is of course a positive feeling being on the track at your home race,” he said.

“I think we can have a strong weekend if we put it all together. It's a relatively short circuit and traffic was a bit problematic at times today, but it's only Friday and hopefully we won't have any issues in qualifying.”

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