Slow but steady progress for Williams

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After a terrible start to the 2013 season, Williams appear to have made some progress with their first major upgrade package during practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Although the results were by no means spectacular, both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas appear to be tentatively optimistic about the progress made during the three week break.

“We’ve been working on different set-ups today and testing a number of new parts on each car,” explained 2012 race winner Maldonado. “We feel a little more positive, but we will analyse everything we tested today and hope to show the improvements in qualifying tomorrow.”

Bottas, one of five drivers to be racing at the Circuit de Catalunya for the first time in F1, was hampered like many by the wet weather in FP1, but he is pleased with how the car felt once the track had dried out for second practice.

“It was an interesting day for us,” Bottas said. “Unfortunately the weather wasn’t quite right in the first session, but this was the same for everyone. We were trying different parts on the car today, particularly in the second session, so we have a lot of data to analyse tonight to work out the best set-up for tomorrow. The initial feeling is that we are starting to take steps forward.”

Williams’ start to the season has been unspectacular, failing to score in the opening four races, but if the upgrades do greatly improve the performance of the FW35, this pointless streak could come to an end in Spain this weekend.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup