United States GP: Williams looking forward to last two races of the season
By Berthold Bouman
After a great result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where Pastor Maldonado finished fifth and Bruno Senna finished in eighth place, Williams is looking forward to the final two races of the season. But, first a leap into the unknown, as the Circuit of the Americas is a brand-new by Hermann Tilke designed track, new to all drivers and teams.
Mark Gillan, Williams’ Chief Operations Engineer, is adamant his team will push until the end, ”We will be pushing hard right to the end with further updates in order to try to secure seventh position in the Constructors’ Championship.”
Williams has done some work on the simulator and Gillan said, “As this is a new track, with no historic database of information to call upon, it places even more importance on one’s circuit simulation tools and simulator to ensure that we’re fully prepared in terms of both car set-up and proposed run programme.”
Tyre wear will also be an unknown factor, Gillan reckons, “Pirelli bring their hard and medium tyres and as normal for any new track one will need to be careful on analysing the track versus the tyre evolution when making strategy predictions.”
Maldonado was upbeat ahead of the race, and the Venezuelan driver hopes to score more points this weekend, “After a good performance in the last race in Abu Dhabi I’m looking forward to getting in the car again and seeing what we can achieve in Austin. The team has worked very hard to get the car back to the sort of pace that can consistently challenge for points and that is what we will be looking for in this race.”
Senna is also ready for the challenges the new circuit will pose, “I’m excited to go to Austin because I’m hearing lots of good things about the track. It has both high-speed and technical sections so it will be tricky to learn for all the drivers and it’s always interesting to see how drivers cope with a new layout and new corners they haven’t driven before.”
He thinks the weather will play a role as well, “The weather can be very varied in Texas as well, with lots of wind and drops in temperature so that could be a factor. The car has definitely come on a lot in the past few weeks so we take good momentum into this race.”
Williams is currently in a secure eighth position in the Constructors’ Championship, 22 points behind Force India, but whether Sir Frank Williams’ team can beat the Indian team remains to be seen, as Force India drivers Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg have been very competitive all season, and therefore Maldonado and Senna will have to deliver solid results and as many points as they can score during the final two races of the season to take over seventh place from Force India.