Paddy Lowe believes Williams Martini Racing ran a good programme on the opening day of practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Grove-based outfit had a good morning during Free Practice 1 as both drivers completed over 35 laps, Felipe Massa finished just outside the top ten in eleventh with a time of 1:14.617s, nearly one second ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll. Massa continued his performance into Free Practice 2, improving his fastest time to 1:14.003s.
Stroll on the other hand, brought out the red flag with half an hour to go, the Canadian crashed into the barrier at Massenet. Initially, a Virtual Safety Car was called but to remove the damaged FW40 safely from the track, a Red Flag was brought out. This crash was similar to that of Max Verstappen last year at the Monte Carlo street circuit.
With this performance in mind, Technical Officer Lowe knows there are a few things the team need to understand to better themselves on Saturday, as it’s going to be close between everyone out on track.
“Thursday in Monaco is all about getting in the laps,” said Lowe. “I think we ran a good programme.
“We timed our runs well for both drivers as we didn’t encounter too much traffic. Felipe conducted a number of tests throughout both sessions, and we gathered some good information from those. It was Lance’s first time driving around Monaco, and he did a very solid job in building up his confidence and improving his laptimes. By the middle of FP2 he was producing times that were very similar to Felipe’s.
“Unfortunately, towards the end of the programme we’d planned for him, he braked too late for Massenet and lost the back end. Despite that mistake we’re all happy with what he has achieved today. On the whole the baseline performance of the car isn’t too bad, but there are a few things we need to understand to be better on Saturday; as it’s going to be very close between everyone out on track.