Heavy rain meant Williams were forced to wait until the afternoon practice session to test the new aero parts that they have brought to Turkey in a bid to kick-start their faltering season.
As well as a damp track in the morning session, the team also had to contend with further KERS problems and a couple of crashes from rookie Pastor Maldonado.
“This morning was wet so we didn’t start our evaluation of new aero components until second practice,” explained Sam Michael, the out-going Williams technical director. “During that session we ran the new rear wing on Rubens' car and we were pleased to see that it functioned well, with a healthy gain in top speed and no signs of aero separation. We will have a second rear wing for Pastor's car tomorrow.
“We also ran a new rear brake duct and new front wings on both cars. All the data from those parts checked out well, with positive driver feedback. So we’ll race everything this weekend. We also investigated a different mechanical set-up with Rubens.
“Unfortunately before we could run the soft tyre with Rubens we had a KERS water system failure and had to stop his car to investigate due to safety issues. We’re looking into the problem now. We didn’t use KERS all day on Pastor's car due to a voltage fault early in second practice.
“With the limited number of parts Pastor will also have to use the old front wing tomorrow after damaging his new front wing in second practice.”
Maldonado, with a hint of understatement, described the day as ‘unlucky’, but is very optimistic that his fortunes will turn tomorrow. “It was an unlucky day,” said the reigning GP2 champion, who won this race in the feeder series last season. “It was wet this morning so we decided not to do too many runs. This afternoon we lost a bit of time as the team were fixing the rear end of the car after I crashed at the end of FP1.
“When we did get out, the speed was there but on the long run I made a mistake and lost the car at the exit of T8 and crashed into the barrier damaging the front wing. However, I know this circuit and the car has improved so I'll be up there tomorrow!”
Rubens Barrichello, who finished sixteenth on today’s timesheets, one position behind his team-mate, things that the updates are a step in the right direction, and thinks that he should make it through to the final part of tomorrow’s qualifying session.
“The new package is promising but we had a KERS water problem which meant our day had to be cut short,” said the Brazilian. “It was a pity but we are optimistic as the new front wing, rear wing and other parts were all working well and we were running competitively. Our main objective is to start in the top ten this weekend and that's definitely realistic.”