Williams’ head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley says the FW38 will be able to score good results at all types of circuits this year.
After three lacklustre results at the start of the season, Williams finished fourth and fifth in Russia to close the gap to third-place Red Bull in the constructors’ championship to six points. Sochi’s long straights played to Williams’ straight-line speed strengths, but Smedley said it would be wrong to assume that was the only reason for the upturn in form.
“Well you’ve got to remember that we are not a one trick pony, this is not purely about power in Sochi,” he said. “There are cars with exactly the same [Mercedes] power unit who we’ve managed to either move towards or move away from. So it is a little bit about how we are managing the tyres as well or how we are using the tyres over a single timed lap, which has certainly helped us, and managing the tyres in the race.”
The next two rounds in Spain and Monaco will see teams run high-downforce setups, but Smedley says Williams does not fear either race, even though it failed to score in Monaco last year.
“I would hope that, yes, characteristic wise they are not the greatest circuits for us but we’ve just got to go there and take everything that we can from them. Certainly we’re not scared of those circuits, we’ll go there and do the absolute best and I’m convinced we’ll do better than we did, certainly in Monaco than 2015 with all the work that we’ve done.”