Williams F1’s ‘brilliant’ performance at Singapore has been much untalked about thanks to the surprise capitalization of Ferrari and Red Bull, and world champions Mercedes stumbling at Marina Bay. The team tend to struggle on low speed profiled circuits, and in theory Singapore’s circuit characteristics didn’t seem to inherit the strengths of the FW37.
Bottas finished an excellent fifth, at which was an action packed Singapore Grand Prix. The Finn was all over the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg for a large proportion of the race, matching the Silver Arrows in relative race pace. On the other hand, it was a bittersweet night for Felipe Massa, he kept very near to team-mate Bottas, but during the first round of pitstops, a clash with Hulkenberg ruined the Brazilians race. Before long a gearbox tussle forced Massa into an inevitable retirement.
The Singapore Grand Prix could well illustrate the team’s best performance at a high downforce profiled racetrack. Singapore marked the third track this season which lacked straights, and had heavy downforce demands. The first this year was Monaco, where the pairing finished a lonely 14th and 15th. The second high downforce profiled track this year was Hungary. The performance at Budapest was well off standard, as the duo finished in 12th and 13th.
According to the team, after their shocking Monaco dismay, the team started to focus on optimising the FW37 on circuits which at the time tend to upset their car. The dominant factor of this was excessive understeer. Rather than eaking out pace for the low downforce tracks, it seems as if the team have been working on a more driveable and pacier car on high downforce tracks. The team eminently haven’t made large strives on Ferrari and Mercedes on the low downforce tracks, which indicate the team are more focussed on a sustainable car on all sorts of tracks. This has been seen in Singapore.
“We have made great inroads over this last period of time in terms of dragging pace out of it around a circuit like this.”
“We have done a great deal of work on that, it’s been constant since Monaco, on that.
“We found we could make some of it better with the car set-up itself like we have done this weekend while some of it will have to come from the drawing board or the science textbooks.
“Going back to Hungary, even with the same car, on basis of this weekend you can see we would have done a lot better on that type of circuit.”
“It’s not perfect, but we have made a good step forward.
The team go into Japan rather optimistic. The hunt for second place is near out of the question for Williams, as the Maranello based squad are over hundred points clear of Williams, after a true dream come true at Marina Bay. The team look more to defend their third place over fast improving Red Bull Racing, who are only 59 points behind Williams.