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Australian GP: Williams to test new aero packages at Melbourne

By Berthold Bouman

Australian GP Williams to test new aero packages at Melbourne - Photo: Williams F1The Williams team is also ready for round one of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit. Williams replaced Bruno Senna with the talented young Valtteri Bottas, who will make his Grand Prix debut this weekend.

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: New aero packages for season opener

Williams’ technical Director Mike Coughlan was pleased with winter testing, but has already planned to test two new aero packages on Friday. “We have some further aero tests planned for Friday with both drivers in Australia. The results so far have been interesting and so we’ll make our final decision on Friday evening as to what we will run over the weekend.”

Williams is concentrating on the Pirelli tyres this weekend, and Coughlan said, “The ambient temperatures in Jerez and Barcelona are very different to what we expect to find in Australia, so we’ll be looking very closely at tyre degradation during practice on Friday. Overall, we are very much looking forward to the start of the season as we have confidence in the FW35.”

Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas - Photo: Williams F1

Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas – Photo: Williams F1

Pastor Maldonado: We expect to be more competitive

Pastor Maldonado is confident the Williams FW35 will perform well this season, “We have been working extremely hard over the winter to improve the performance of the car and we have noticed good potential in the recent tests in Barcelona.”

About the development of the car he commented, “I’ve been involved with the FW35 build since the start of the project in early 2012, working with the engineers, design office and the technicians in the wind tunnel to push for improvements on all fronts.”

He expects to be more competitive this season, “Obviously we don’t know what other teams have done and you can only learn so much during testing, but we expect to be more competitive than last year. I like street circuits so I always enjoy coming to Australia and now I just want to start the season and find out where we stand.”

Valtteri Bottas: Car showed strong reliability

Rookie Valtteri Bottas is optimistic ahead of his first Grand Prix, “We have had a good winter at the factory and the car showed strong reliability and performance during testing. The FW35 feels like a new car in comparison to the FW34, behaving and responding differently around the track to the car I was driving on Friday mornings last year and I’m impressed with the improvements the team have made.”

The Finn thinks he’s well-prepared for the physical demands of Formula One, “The winter has seen me preparing hard for the demands of driving a full race which I haven’t done before in Formula One. However, I’ve always done a lot of fitness training and have driven a lot of miles over the past few years with the team, so I’m feeling fully prepared. The first Grand Prix of my career is a big thing for me and I can’t wait for the lights to go out in Melbourne and see how the FW35 performs against the competition.”

Also read:

Red Bull Australian GP Preview
Ferrari Australian GP Preview
McLaren Australian GP Preview
Lotus Australian GP Preview
Mercedes Australian GP Preview
Sauber Australian GP Preview
Force India Australian GP Preview
Williams Australian GP Preview
• Toro Rosso Australian GP Preview
Caterham Australian GP Preview
Marussia Australian GP Preview

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