Williams: Jerez test a really good boost
10 February 2014 – Williams F1 deputy team principal, Claire Williams has said the Grove-based outfit got a ‘really good boost’ from its showing at the recent Jerez test, the first chance all the teams had to properly run with their 2014 F1 cars.
Williams struggled in 2013 and scored just five points, after Pastor Maldonado finished tenth in Hungary and Valtteri Bottas was eighth in the USA. It was a woeful performance and all the more disappointing given how things went the previous season, when the squad notched up 76 points, with Maldonado of course winning the Spanish Grand Prix.
For 2014, Felipe Massa has been signed to replace Maldonado and the team has also switched powerplants, dumping Renault for Mercedes.
Massa made an immediate impact during running at Jerez, setting the pace on the final day, while he was second quickest on day three. Bottas also went well and he was third quickest on days one and two.
Despite that showing though, Claire added that the squad isn’t getting carried away.
“No, we never do that, not at Williams,” she told Sky Sports F1 when asked if expectations had now been raised. “It's the first test and it is a really difficult year, or different year, for everybody with the regulations. We did have a good test in Jerez which is obviously great for the team, it's a really good boost.
“But it's a really long season as everybody knows.”
Quizzed on the arrival of Massa and how the team has got on with Mercedes so far, she continued: “Mercedes are a fantastic partner, they've been really good for us over the past six months of development work for them. So we're really looking forward to continuing that work for the rest of the year.”
“[As for Felipe], he's such a great guy, he's a lovely guy and I think for him this is a new challenge, which is exciting for him. But it's exciting for everyone in the team and he's a really great motivator as well,” she concluded.