For the first time since heading out to the Australian Grand Prix in March, teams have been able to have all of their cars and equipment back at their factory, and Williams Martini Racing’s Paddy Lowe feels this is important as everyone gets to reset ahead of the first European race of the season.
Lowe believes this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix will mark the first of a number of important stages to the season, with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya likely to be the host of the first haul of major upgrades teams will bring in 2017, which with the new technical regulations will be extremely important.
“We come to the first European race of the season,” said Lowe. “After the Russian Grand Prix this is the first time that we have seen all the cars and freight come back to the factory since everything headed out to Australia in early March.
“It marks a new phase in the calendar as we return to the familiar surrounds of the race trucks and motorhomes in the paddock. It’s also normally the time we see the first major upgrades brought to the cars, which is even more significant this year given the new aerodynamic regulations.
“The circuit itself is one we are well acquainted with, having completed all of our pre-season testing there. This circuit provides a very challenging test of the car’s performance, particularly the aerodynamics through Turns Three and Nine and the suspension through the third sector.”
Although they got two cars home for the first time in Russia two weeks ago, Lowe was disappointed they could only take two points home with them thanks to Felipe Massa’s ninth place finish, but everyone within the team is now pressing forward to get both the Brazilian and team-mate Lance Stroll into the points this weekend in Spain.
“We didn’t get all the points we wanted in Russia but we can see the potential in the car and therefore our aim is to bring home two cars with points finishes in Spain,” insisted Lowe.