British GP - Williams Toyota - Preview
Nico Rosberg added to his points tally last time out with a season-best fifth position in the Turkish Grand Prix. The Williams Toyota driver has been in the points in five of the seven races so far this season and is now seventh in
the drivers' standings having moved ahead of Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen
and Fernando Alonso
“I really enjoyed the Turkish GP," said Rosberg. "After struggling a little bit with tyre choice as there was very little difference between the option and the prime, we settled into the weekend, made it into Q3 again and I felt confident that we had a good car for the race."
"Making up four places in the first lap was a great way to start the race, it would have been nice if I’d caught Trulli, but fifth is still the team’s best result this season," Rosberg continued. "We have to keep scoring points at every race if we’re going to make progress in the Constructors’ so getting those four points was important for us.”
Looking ahead to the British Grand Prix, the final Grand Prix scheduled for the Silverstone circuit, Rosberg is keen to add to his points tally and help the Grove-based team in their battle with McLaren Mercedes over fifth position in the constructors' standings.
“Silverstone is a great circuit, one of the few remaining tracks that really challenge a driver," Rosberg stated. "Even though I’m German, it still feels special racing in front of the British fans when you drive for a British team. The atmosphere is amazing at Silverstone, and I know that lots of people come for the weekend who are based in the factory. As a reward for all their efforts this year, it would be amazing if we could deliver a really good result on Sunday.”
One driver very much in the need of a good result is team-mate Kazuki Nakajima. A look at the drivers’ standings shows that most teams have secured similar results for both drivers. At Williams however Nakajima is flat last in the championship while Rosberg goes it alone in scoring all 11.5 points for the team.
The silver-lining for Nakajima is that he looked to be on for his first points of the season in Turkey until a problem fitting his front left wheel in the final pt stop dropped him out of the points and down to 12th position by the chequered flag.
“Istanbul was obviously disappointing but it was one of those things that happens to most drivers at some point or other," Nakajima explained. "It’s just frustrating that I was having a great race and I was on for my first points of the season when it happened to me! We took some new parts with us to Istanbul and they seem to have helped us make some progress and close the gap to the cars in front a little, so that’s encouraging to take with us to Silverstone.”
“I really enjoy going to Silverstone," Nakajima continued. "As I’ve lived in Oxford for a few years now, the British Grand Prix is kind of a home race for me after Japan. The British fans seem to really love Formula One and make a big weekend of it, so it should be a bit more lively than Turkey! Williams has a lot of history at Silverstone, winning our first race there in 1979 and then our 100th as well, so it’s also a bit of a special weekend for the team.”
With Rosberg carrying the team in terms of its points tally, Technical Director Sam Michael for one acknowledges that Williams could - and should - be higher in the championship.
"Our performance as a team is measured by our position in the constructors’ championship," Michael explained. "We’re lying in sixth at the moment but I don’t think the FW31 is the sixth fastest car; I think we’re faster than that, as we’ve proved many times in qualifying and with the positions the drivers have run in during the race."
Michael is keen to praise both drivers however explaining that Rosberg now has the experience of 60 starts to his credit to rely on while Toyota protégé Nakajima has closed the gap on his team-mate in his second full season.
"The FW31 is a big improvement over last year’s car and now performs well in high speed corners so we should be more competitive there than last year," the Australian continued. "We’ll also be introducing some more improvements to the car, so hopefully we’ll have a good race."