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'Williams closing up on Mercedes'

Friday 15-August-2014 09:07

Williams are "inching closer" to Mercedes out on track, that's according to the team's head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley.

Although there is little chance of any team challenging Mercedes in this year's title races, the battle to be the best of the rest is heating up.

In recent weeks Williams got involved in that tussle with Valtteri Bottas claiming three podium finishes in the last four grands prix.

Added to that, Williams have also been on the front row of the grid three times, including a complete lock-out at the Austrian GP.

"If you take Mercedes as the benchmark - and they are the benchmark as they are doing a by far the best job of anyone - obviously we are not a threat to them but we are inching closer to them which is really heartening to see with all the effort going in," Smedley told ESPN.

Williams' recovery this season has been immense as already they have netted 135 points, a staggering 130 more than the Grove team scored the whole of 2013.

However, what Smedley is most impressed by if the way Williams have attacked this year's development war, allowing them to edge ahead of some of their rivals.

"If you look at the reality of the situation, then between against Mercedes, against Red Bull and against Ferrari, has that order really changed over the course of the year? Have you seen a big change in that?

"If you look go away and look at the numbers and the percentage lap times - qualifying and race - I haven't really seen a big change in that.

"I've seen McLaren get a little bit better, I've seen us get better, so the order is changing due to the performance and the way we are operating the car, not particularly because other people are going backwards."

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