Valtteri Bottas is confident Williams has the race pace to move forward in today’s Singapore Grand Prix and praised a new addition to the team for their impact.
Williams announced after the Italian Grand Prix that Antonio Spagnolo has been hired in the role of Competitor Analysis and Performance Concept Team Leader. Spagnolo was formerly Head of Tyre Performance Group at Ferrari, and was brought in after Williams struggled to get the most out of its tyres on certain occasions.
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After qualifying 11th – later promoted to 10th due to Sergio Perez’s grid penalty – Bottas said the team is looking strong for the race in terms of tyre usage and long run pace.
“It seems to be a bit of a tricky track for us but the positive, going into [the race], is that our long runs on high fuel looked better than what Force India and Toro Rosso were doing,” Bottas said. “Hopefully that can create some opportunities for us to try and fight with them.
“Starting 11th we can choose what tyres to start the race with. We have one new set of the qualifying tyre, in fact we have new sets of all the compounds, so we should be OK.”
On the specific impact made by Spagnolo, Bottas says the former Ferrari man is a key addition in an area where Williams was lacking.
“He’s just started with us, he has already had some kind of input, from the factory, during the meetings, and he’s getting more and more involved. He’s definitively help us in the background but I’m sure he’ll have a lot more impact in the future than now.
“But he’s been already of some help because until now we didn’t have many guys looking at the tyre science – the numbers, temperatures, pressures – in detail and now we have one guy that is doing only that. It’s helping here but it will help more in the future.”
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