Williams Martini Racing head to the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix looking to make up on a below-par performance that dogged them throughout the 2015 race weekend which saw Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa finish down in fourteenth and fifteenth position.
The team last acheived victory in 2003 with Juan Pablo Montoya and while victory may be a little out of their reach this year, Williams Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds is confident that the team can put in a good performance, especially with the addition of the new ultrasoft Pirelli tyre.
“The Monaco circuit is perhaps the most challenging we visit all year, both in terms of car set-up and for the drivers.” said Symonds. “While we always think of Monaco as a high downforce track, most circuits these days are. What is far more important here is to get a good chassis balance through corners that are generally slower and have a very different surface to those we meet on conventional race tracks. 2016 also sees the introduction of the new ultrasoft tyre.”
The tight and twisty nature of the Monte-Carlo street circuit means that there is a lot more emphasis on qualifying.
“With overtaking difficult at Monaco, there will be a need to get the maximum potential out of the tyre for a good grid position, while managing tyre consumption to have the option of doing a one-stop race. The forecast is for a dry weekend, but one can never rule out rain in Monaco as onshore winds and high hills above can produce a microclimate.
“We can’t hide from the fact that our performance last year was well below par, and a lot of analysis has gone into determining why. Our hopes for this year, as always, will be to get both cars in good grid positions and race strongly from there.” he added.