Belgian GP: Williams Race Report

xAs the sun rised in Spa-Francorchamps on friday morning you can hear the engines warming up for the first free practice on the historic track. The team concentrated on high fuel runs and race stints over the 90 minutes. Markus felt quite good in the car from the beginning but "there is a lot more speed in the car as we could extract in the first session.". In the break to FP2 the hottest topic between driver and engineers was how to set-up the engine for the race. The team noticed the wear of the aggregates already very early in the session and reliability is always a topic in Spa. In FP2 there were some tests with no reduced rev limit but longer higher gears and the opposite of it. But time was running and the team had to prepare for the upcoming qualifying.

As the green light rolls off Q1 it was "really a chaotic session" according to Walter, because there were some last minute changes to the setup, especially to the wings and the suspension. "We haven't had too much time for low fuel runs. Therefore we didn't know how the car goes around the track with lower ride height and less downforce.", says the team principal. Markus just came through Q1 as the radio failed during the session and he had no reference in position. The next session went quite as expected and for Q3 Markus managed to run a 1.46 dead. Our goal was to get into the 1.45s but with no well optimized setup that was a good result for the team. "Ferrari's Kris Locksey has a penalty from hungary so we're effectively in the second row what is just fantastic."

But unfortunately the race didn't turn out as good as expected. "I think our race pace was really good and we could have managed to finish in the top 5.", said Markus after his early retirement in the recon lap due to a broken clutch. "It's sad, because I really much like this track. But anyways, let's look forward to Italy where I was able to gather my first race lead, for only a few meters, but I enjoyed it! (he laughs)

Published 2011-08-28 by Jonas Andersson | Edit