Williams head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley says the team has to target a podium in the Hungarian Grand Prix despite a disappointing qualifying session.
Valtteri Bottas will start from sixth place and Felipe Massa eighth on a circuit which is difficult to overtake on, having been outpaced by Ferrari and Red Bull at the Hungaroring. Race day is proving much cooler than the hot conditions seen throughout the rest of the weekend which could impact on tyre usage, something Williams struggled with amid cold temperatures in Monaco.
While Smedley concedes the Williams is unsuited to the low speed circuit, he says the team’s mindset has to be to chase another podium finish after a run of strong races.
“The temperature drop we’ll see how it affects us, definitely, but we should never not be aiming for the podium,” Smedley said. “We have a very quick car and just because we come here and we’ve ultimately had one session that counts where we have perhaps seen this circuit, as expected, isn’t the best for us doesn’t mean to say we shouldn’t be going in to the race with a positive mindset and doing absolutely everything that we can.
“I wouldn’t want anybody in the team not to be thinking like that. You can’t be like a flag and flaking about because we are behind Ferrari and Red Bull clearly [in qualifying], and saying ‘Oh there’s no chance for us to do anything’, absolutely not. We have to go out and go forward. It’s not about protecting sixth and eighth, it’s about going forward and if a podium falls out of that, even better.”
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