Rob Smedley, head of vehicle performance at Williams Martini Racing, believes that the team can challenge Mercedes for victories at the next two races on the F1 calendar.
The Grove-based outfit has bounced back from a disappointing 2013 campaign with a strong first part of the 2014 season. Williams is currently fourth in the constructors’ standings and has scored three podium finishes, thanks to Valtteri Bottas.
Smedley believes the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps and Monza circuits should suit the FW36 and believes winning is a possibility.
“It’s a possibility,” he said when asked if Williams could challenge Mercedes at the next two races in Belgium and Italy.
“As I’ve quite often said, the ambition of the team is to win the world championship, and in order to win the world championship you have to beat everybody. I think we know that the world championship is a little bit one-sided this year, but that doesn’t stop us preparing ourselves for the years to come.
“Running at the front and winning races is something that this team needs to re-learn how to do. You saw that once we re-learned how to be slick enough to get podiums they kept falling out of the jackpot machine at us.”
He added: “Both of those tracks will suit our car very well, I would have thought. That’s mainly because the power sensitivity at those tracks is very high, so every 1bhp you have is worth more than at other tracks, and the drag sensitivity, especially at Spa, is very high.
“We know that our car is strong in both of those areas. Additionally, in somewhere like Spa, with harder compounds, it can sometimes be quite difficult to get the tyres turned on and I think our car can do that, especially when it’s a front-end problem.
“I’m reasonably confident that our car can go well in both of those races, but I’ve said before that we don’t fear anywhere really.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.