Q&A with Williams' Sam Michael The Williams F1 cars qualified in fifth and seventh positions in what was a wet session, although both drivers fell back five spots each for the final race result a day later. The teams Technical Director, Sam Michaels, gives a review of the Malaysian GP where Nico Hulkenberg scored his first F1 point from his 10th place finish.
Please sum up the overall performance of the FW32 at Sepang "The FW32 performed very well in wet conditions, but not strongly enough in the dry. The team made all the right calls during the rain-hit qualifying session."
How difficult was it to judge the conditions? "It was pretty tricky during qualifying, but the golden rule is to keep it simple. Obviously having both engineers and drivers that stay cool under pressure is essential part of approaching the process correctly."
How did Bridgestone's hard and soft tire compounds hold up at Sepang? "We were very happy with the tires in Malaysia - both were solid and fast as well as consistent."
Both drivers lost positions at the start of the race. Why was that? "Both drivers suffered from poor starts which is something we've got to get on top of because we have been really strong in this area in the past. We'll be putting in plenty of practice in Shanghai."
Why did Nico have to swap steering wheels during the race? "Nico unfortunately had a faulty switch on the steering wheel that was affecting the engine mixtures and therefore needed to be changed."
Nico scored his first WC point in Malaysia. Please sum up his performance at Sepang. "It was a good step forward for Nico. Obviously, the priority for him was to complete a race distance and his strong qualifying result gave him a better start to the race than Bahrain or Australia. Only claiming one point I am sure won’t satisfy him, but it is moving in the right direction."
Looking ahead, are you confident that the FW32 will be competitive in China? "That's our target. We have some new aero parts to bring to China, so we hope we will move our competitiveness forward."
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