Monday, 23 March 2015

Williams Martini Racing Team Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

(Williams Martini Racing Team)

The Williams Martini Racing Team head to Malaysia for this weekend’s second race of the 2015 Formula One season hoping to continue their points scoring run of 21 Grand Prix in a row.

Felipe Massa started the season off in fantastic fashion by starting the Australian Grand Prix from third place on the grid. The Brazilian was the only Williams driver on the grid however as team mate Valtteri Bottas was forced to sit out the race as the Finn suffered a back injury following qualifying and was unable to race.

The Finn had qualified for the race in sixth place. Massa went on to finish the race in fourth place just ahead of former Williams team mate Felipe Nasr in the Sauber. 

Speaking ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix Massa stated:

Malaysia is always very hot and very humid, so very difficult physically for the drivers. The car also has its challenges as the temperature plays its part, so our cooling is very important. The rain is an issue as it always rains at the time of day when the race is, but we will be prepared for it. I have trained very hard in the heat just for this race and cardio has been important.

Valtteri Bottas will undergo the mandatory FIA medical checks on Thursday and has travelled to Malaysia for the race and Williams are working with the Finn to ensure that he will be fit to participate in the event.

Speaking ahead of the race Bottas, who finished last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix in eighth place stated:

As always, Malaysia is a very hot and humid race, and although these aren't the ideal conditions for the car we have had some exciting races in Sepang over the years. There is also always a risk of rain which we have to be aware of, but it brings some more spice in the suspense. After Melbourne I have stayed in Asia to acclimatise to the hot conditions and adjust to the right time zone. I trained a lot over the winter to prepare for these physically difficult conditions. After such a frustrating Sunday in Australia, I have taken the necessary measures to make sure I arrive in Malaysia fit to race and ready to bring the results home.

Williams appear to be the fastest outfit behind reigning world champions the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team. The Grove based outfit have confirmed that their car is a par with the Mercedes works team when it comes to their Mercedes power unit. A lot of teams have called for the FIA to step in to allow the other team’s to close the gap to Mercedes.

It is clear however that Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team have just done a better job in getting to grips with the new regulations and this is evident following their dominant season last year. Speaking ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, Williams Martini Racing Team’s Rob Smedley stated:

We are heading to Malaysia after a good start to the season, very much in a position to be finishing with both cars scoring good points. We have been working hard on all areas of performance and to close up any margins we had in Australia. Sepang is one of the first of the Herman Tilke circuits and the drivers like it as it includes fast corners and overtaking opportunities. The ambient conditions always play quite a big part in the weekend and the drivers have to be ready for those challenges. The circuit itself starts off with quite a lot of front graining and finishes being rear limited during the race. As it is a purpose built circuit we should be able to see more of the strengths of the FW37 and it should suit us a bit better.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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