|22/01/09 :: No laps for Williams today|
Objective: Initial systems, performance and reliability checks with the FW31.|
Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1:
"Testing today in Portugal was a complete washout with heavy rain all day. As such we had no further running with the FW31. In fact, the majority of the test was disrupted by rain; our only opportunity for consistent running was with Nico Rosberg on Wednesday. The time we did get on track was productive though and allowed the team to work through our scheduled systems checks and aero and mechanical tests with the new car. We're comfortable with the progress we made, but more track time would have been preferable. We will now return to the factory and prepare the test car for Jerez test in three weeks time."
"Tuesday was almost too wet to get any valuable testing done, but my second day was on a dry track and it was very positive. I did the most kilometres ever recorded on one day with a Formula One car and that is really encouraging especially as it was with the new car. We didn't have any problems that would have forced me to stop running so that's a big compliment to the team. We worked through a good testing programme and have tried many fundamental set-up items as we try to learn more about the car. Performance-wise, this week was also encouraging, but it's definitely too early to understand where we are relative to the other teams."
"Because of the weather today, I only managed to do an installation lap. It was a real shame as I was really looking forward to testing the new car. I'll now just have to wait until the next test in Jerez in February."
"Straight away the new car felt okay and I felt comfortable in it. Of course everyone wants to know how it compares to the 2008 car and what the impact of the rule changes are from a driver's point of view. In truth, I cannot say too much after just a few laps, because the track is 100% new to me, I have never run in Portimao and also it was pretty wet, so I have no baseline for comparison if we were running at Jerez or Barcelona in the dry, I could be a little more specific. But the important thing this week was to simply make sure we ran through all the checks of the basic systems on the car and confirm everything is working as it should. That was the case this week and we can be happy."