Bahrain podium Williams' objective

Tuesday 01-April-2014 13:31

Despite recording two disappointing results in the first two races of the season, Williams are confident of securing a podium in Bahrain this week.

Williams were near the top of the time sheets throughout preseason, but after struggling in the wet qualifying in Australia and Malaysia, they struggled to convert their testing form to the race track.

Nevertheless, Williams engineer Rod Nelson believes they are capable of achieving their goal of finishing on the podium at Sakhir.

"Absolutely, [finishing on the podium] that's definitely our target," he told ESPN.

"I think it's going to be circuit dependent [this year]. I'm quite optimistic for Bahrain, we obviously did a lot of running there and we have a very good idea of where we are in the pecking order in Bahrain, although Red Bull, for example, are looking a lot stronger than they were then.

"This weekend [in Malaysia] I would say we had the legs on McLaren and Ferrari are looking stronger than they have been through winter testing as well.

"If qualifying in Malaysia had been dry we probably would have been third or fourth.

The Williams FW36 are among the fastest in a straight line on the circuit and are economical with its fuel usage, according to the FIA's fuel usage figures.

"It's not down to a lack of downforce, it's a lack of drag. You've got to look at the weekend holistically and you've got to look at where you want to put your car.

"You've got to look at whether you want to be quick in quali on a certain type of track or do you want to be quick in the race at another type of track. You have to look at the whole year and the circuits we go to and the level of drag we are prepared to take," Nelson added.

"Part of that equation is the amount of fuel you want to carry. If you take the rear wing off the car then you'll use three quarters of the amount of fuel, but it's about finding a balance and maybe we found that balance slightly differently to some other teams. Sometimes it benefits us and other times it detracts."

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