Valtteri Bottas has explained how Williams is beginning to turn its attention to the development of its car for the 2016 Formula 1 season as the team settles into third place in the constructors’ championship.
Williams has struggled to put up much of a fight to Mercedes and Ferrari at the front of the field in 2015, picking up just three podium finishes.
With five races to go in the season, the team sits comfortably in third place in the constructors’ standings, knowing that neither the 129 point gap to Ferrari ahead or the 69 point difference to Red Bull behind are likely to be bridged.
As a result, the team is now turning attention to its 2016 car, the FW38, as explained by Bottas in his post-Japanese Grand Prix blog.
“As we get to this stage of the season some of the focus is switching to next year’s car and for sure we’ve been developing the FW38 for a long time,” Bottas said.
“That’s the target until the end of the season – to look ahead and put us in the best place for 2016. But if we can also find something that benefits this year’s car then we’ll use it as we would like to get more podiums before the season finishes. And if we can get closer to Ferrari then all the better.”
Williams has looked most comfortable at the high-speed tracks so far this season, and with the likes of the Circuit of The Americas, the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and the Yas Marina Circuit all to come, the team should be in good stead for the final leg of the year.
“Most of the tracks we’re still going to this year should be good for us, so that’s very positive,” Bottas said. “I believe the upgrades we introduced for Singapore gave us more downforce and worked well, so they definitively worked here too.
“We ran the same bits on the car at Suzuka and were competitive but, obviously, Red Bull and Ferrari have made improvements too and they’ll be very difficult to beat in the coming races.”