Q&A with Williams Technical Director, Sam Michael




How would you sum up Nico Hulkenberg’s performance during qualifying?
His performance was exceptional. It was great to see him do everything right on the slick tyre at the correct time. He didn’t put a foot wrong and warmed the tyres up perfectly to generate the grip he needed for the lap time.

Was Nico’s eighth place in the race an accurate reflection of the FW32s competitiveness in the dry, or had you expected more?
It would be reasonable to say that we expected more. It was clear to us that we didn’t have the pace to match the top three teams, but we expected to be fighting for 6th & 7th positions. Unfortunately we just weren’t quick enough in the first stint with Nico and we also had the pit stop problem with Rubens that put him out of contention. However, Nico did a good job to move us up in the Constructors’ table to sixth.

Following Saturday’s rain, the track was very green on Sunday. Did you experience tyre graining on either car?
Yes, we had some, but I’d say no more than other cars, so it wasn’t a particular concern for us.

At Rubens’ first pit stop, there was a problem with the right rear wheel. What happened?
We had a problem with the wheel nut engagement; we are still looking into the problem and although we don’t have a definitive answer yet, we will ensure it is rectified for this weekend.

Rubens had a puncture later in the race, following contact with Alguersuari. Was there any other damage to the car?
No, other than the puncture, the car was fine. He went for it as we expected him to do and unfortunately it didn’t quite pay off.

The season finale in Abu Dhabi comes next. How do you expect the FW32 to perform at the Yas Marina circuit?
We remain pretty confident and we are sure the car performance will be good. Our target is to maintain sixth position in the Constructors’ Championship.