Although unlikely to threaten the top teams, Williams finds itself in an interesting position for the start of the 2013 season. The team won its first race in eight years a year ago in Barcelona with Pastor Maldonado, and has to be considered one of the top midfield runners this week.
The team’s new car was the last in the field to launch. This Friday, the team will make some further aero tests to determine the best package to use.
“We had a successful winter test and are continuing to look at all the data we gathered,” Williams technical director Mike Coughlan said in the team’s official pre-race release. “Following this, 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. In either case, we feel we have two strong aero packages, each with their own benefits, and so the nature of the circuit and temperatures we find will dictate which package we choose.”
Maldonado and teammate Valtteri Bottas said the car has responded and behaved differently in testing so far.
“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,” said Bottas, who makes his race debut this weekend.
“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,” added Maldonado. “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. . 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.”