The first session took place in wet conditions which meant the packed grandstands saw little on track action. However the second session took place in drier conditions and the slick tyres emerged 10 minutes into the session.
Speaking in a team statement, the Venezuelan admitted that the lack of dry running in the first session meant it was a very busy session in the afternoon and Williams are so far not where he wants them to be: “I was running a different programme to Valtteri today, concentrating on mechanical work and tyres. We lost a lot of track time in the first session due to the weather, so we had a busy afternoon. I was also able to do a longer run towards the end as the track dried but we still have work to do to improve the performance for tomorrow.”
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas shared his thoughts on the two sessions, saying that he really felt for the fans: “Conditions were not ideal today, especially as we were trying to test new parts on the car. It’s the same for all teams, but I really feel for the fans as they didn’t see much running. We managed to test with both the prime and option tyres in the second practice session, so we’ll look at the data tonight and assess where we need to improve for the final practice session and qualifying tomorrow.”
Technical Director Mike Coughlan revealed that Williams ignored using the prototype Pirelli tyre in order to complete their race and qualifying programmes: “Our test programme was shifted to FP2, so we didn’t run the prototype tyre as we needed time to get through all the changes we had planned. Pastor was doing mechanical tests, whilst Valtteri did aero evaluations with two different packages we have here. We gathered all the information we needed so now we will analyse the data to decide which direction to go.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic