Williams optimistic of Spanish Grand Prix gains

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Williams have high hopes for the upgrade package they plan to introduce at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

It’s been a disappointing start to the season for the team and drivers Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas as the FW35 has failed to build on the promise shown by its predecessor. Four races in, the team are yet to get their first points on the board.

From an early stage in the season the team targeted the Spanish race as the venue for a big push on car development. Chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar believes they will make gains at the Circuit de Catalunya:

“We are working with a package for Spain and we expect it to be better. But we cannot say how much,” he said.

Pujolar added the early signs were encouraging as previous changes they have made to the car have produced the desired effect:

“At the moment we think that it’s going in the right direction, even though it is not going as fast as we would like. But all the parts we brought to the car we’ve run them, so that’s good.”

Williams won the Spanish Grand Prix last year. But it was a bittersweet weekend for the team as a fire swept through the garage as they celebrated the result, injuring several mechanics who bravely fought the flames.

Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test

Photo: IndyCar
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The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.

Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.

Helio Castroneves was back in an IndyCar on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: IndyCar

Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.

Results are below.