(Williams Martini Racing Team)
The Williams Martini Racing Team head to the United States Grand Prix t the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas with Valtterri Bottas having secured the teams sixth podium finish of the season as the Finn ended the race in third place behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. It was a disappointing race for Felipe Massa as the Brazilian finished the race just outside the points in eleventh place.
The Grove based outfit have done an incredible job this season and following the result at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix in Sochi last time out the team have now moved 28 points clear of Ferrari who are in fourth place with just three Grand Prix remaining this season.
The Circuit of the Americas has a number of similar characteristics to both Silverstone and Hockenheim, circuits where Williams scored back to back second place finishes with Valtterri Bottas. The high speed nature of the circuit should also suit the FW36 which has proven to have great pace with the Circuit of the Americas having a great mix of sweeping corners like the Maggots and Becketts style corners From T3 to T9.
The circuit is a favourite among many of the drivers with the various elevations changes adding to the challenge of the circuit. Speaking ahead of this weekend's race Valtteri Bottas stated:
'Austin is a really cool track, one of the best on the calendar. The city is nice, the fans and atmosphere are great, so it’s one of the best places of the season to go to.
I have good memories from there as I got my first points in Formula 1 in Austin last season. We are definitely targeting to be on the podium again and extend the advantage we have on Ferrari in the Constructors’ points. Everyone is feeling positive about Texas, so it should be fun.'
Felipe Massa will hoping that he will be able to rerun to the podium for the first time since the Italian Grand Prix last month where he finished in third place. Massa is currently in ninth place in the championship on 71 points. Speaking ahead of the race in Austin Massa stated:
'The track in Austin is great as there is a real mix of high and low speed corners with some very technical areas.
Sector one is very quick, similar to Suzuka, with a long straight which gives us the chance for overtaking. It’s a fun track to drive and one where we can have a good result. Austin is also a really great place with such enthusiasm for Formula One so let’s hope for a good weekend.'
Williams Martini Racing Team's Head of Vehicle Performance Rob Smedley stated:
'Austin is always a challenge and a really good circuit. It comprises of a good layout including a nice high speed section at the start.
A well balanced car is important to make you quick in the first sector. Depending on the tyre compound, the slower sections can have an effect on graining so we have to monitor that.
It’s a good track to test all aspects of the car. The weather always plays a part as it can be quite cool, but sometimes also very hot. The track improves a lot throughout the race weekend, which means we have to react quickly to these changes. Once again we are aiming for both cars in the points at the end of the race.'
The team will be hoping to consolidate their position in third place in the Constructors championship this weekend as there are just three Grand Prix remaining this season in the USA, Brazil and Abu Dhabi which should all suit the Williams FW36.
© Ben Johnston 2014