(Williams Martini Racing Team)
The Williams Martini Racing Team head to this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit with a whole host of updates for the FW36 which they hope will help them extend their nine point advantage over Ferrari who are currently in fourth place in the Constructors championship.
Last time out in Singapore the Grove based outfit had mixed fortunes. Fresh from his first podium for the team at the Italian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa finished the race in fifth place place while Valtteri Bottas was left disappointed as the Finn just narrowly missed out on a top ten result ending the race in eleventh place.
Speaking ahead of this weekend's race, Williams Martini Racing's Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley stated:
'Japan is one of the last remaining old school tracks. It is incredibly important to get the cars set-up right and very difficult for the drivers to get the perfect lap.
The track is one which tests all aspects of the car and so is very tough to get right. Tyre management is key, so we hope we have done all of our homework and getting on top of track conditions throughout the weekend will directly affect qualifying and the race. I personally enjoy Japan, the fans are immensely enthusiastic about the sport and incredibly welcoming of the teams.'
The Japanese Grand Prix is a favourite among the drivers and the Williams driver's are no exception. Speaking ahead of the race Felipe Massa stated:
'Japan is one of the best circuits on the calendar.
The first sector is amazing and the elevation changes really add to the excitement of the track. We have good momentum at the moment and our car will hopefully be better than in Singapore. The Japanese fans are some of the most passionate fans. On a Thursday in the rain the stands are still full. I also love Japan and look forward to seeing more of the country.'
The Suzuka circuit should suit the characteristics of the FW36 which has shown great potential on high speed circuits such as Monza and Spa Francorchamps. Valtteri Bottas, who is currently in 6th place in the championship has scored four podium finished this season stated:
'Suzuka is my favourite circuit on the calendar. The high speed corners make it a very special track to drive and a lot of fun. For a driver it’s quite a challenge with no room for a mistake, but it’s fast which just makes it even better to drive. You need good downforce and stability which could bring the field closer together. One thing all drivers say about Japan is just how amazing the fans are, and I am looking forward to seeing them again and hope they enjoy the race.'
© Ben Johnston 2014