The development race continues apace
A look at the championship table shows that Nico Rosberg is making impressive progress as the season continues.
The Williams Toyota driver scored 3.5 points in the first four races of the season but the last five however has seen
the German racer string together consecutive points finishes to add another 17 to his tally.
Now seventh in the championship and just 1.5 point shy of fifth placed Felipe Massa - while holding a solid fifth in the constructors’ championship ahead of McLaren Mercedes and Renault - the Grove-based team are feeling pretty confident at the mid-season point.
"We’re improving the performance levels of the FW31 every race, and that’s translating into greater competitiveness across a variety of tracks," stated Technical Director Sam Michael. "All the teams are bringing upgrades to each race, so it’s encouraging to see that our development plan is working."
While Rosberg’s run to fifth position at the Nurburgring seemed trouble-free from the outside, the crew were forced to call him in early for his first pitstop.
"Five laps before Nico’s first pit-stop we started to see issues with the fuel rail high pressure which forced us into pitting earlier than we had fuel for," Michael admitted. "We also added a large amount of extra fuel to give us the margin we needed at the second stop. This meant Nico had to carry the extra margin for the remainder of the race which slowed him down.
"We have now analysed the data and parts, understood the problem and put in place revisions to the system for Budapest GP."
Michael expects Rosberg to show well again in Hungary a week Sunday as the team will have further updates available to the FW31 challenger. However the Australian is well aware that their rivals are not standing still as the development race continues.
"All the teams need to be bringing 0.2 seconds to every race just to stay where they are," he explained. "It’s so close out there that you can’t afford not to bring new parts to every race."