Q and A: Sam Michael

26Y7187 largeWilliams technical director Sam Michael on the team’s progress so far this season, KERS development, and the ashes.

Source: Williams F1 Press Office

Q: Ten races gone, how do you sum up the season so far for AT&T Williams?
SM: The FW31 is a good car and we ve managed to improve it from race-to-race. We didn t capitalise on the car s pace during the early races, which was frustrating, but we ve been consistently competitive in the last few races. The next objective is to score our first podium of the year.

Q: Are you pleased with the rate of development on the FW31?
SM: The new rules have made Formula One extremely competitive this year. You have to improve the performance of your car at every race just to stand still, and AT&T Williams have done that and more. If we went back to Melbourne, we d be at least one second per lap faster than we were in March.

Q: Where have the biggest performance gains been made?
SM: Aerodynamics mainly, but there have been other gains as well. It s been about improving the package and the way we ve managed to do that is a credit to the different technical departments at Williams F1.

Q: Are you still pursuing KERS?
SM: We still have a team of people working on KERS, but I don t want to put a date on when we ll run it for the first time.

Q: How much of the team s focus is already on next year s car?
SM: We re working on next year s FW32, but there s more focus on the current car than there was this time last year. Rule stability means many of the parts on this year s car can be carried over to next year, so the FW32 will benefit, rather than suffer, from our push with the current car.

Q: Your thoughts on Nico and Kazuki s performances so far this year?
SM: Both of them are better drivers than they were last year, but that s normal because all drivers improve as they gain experience. Nico s performed as we d expected him to, while Kazuki has been incredibly unlucky. He ll score points soon, I m sure.

Q: Being an Aussie, a final thought on the Ashes Test Match coming up the Oval?
SM: I m not into cricket, but I m sure the Australians will win!