Williams head of performance engineering Rod Smedley hopes his squad will approach the returning Mexican Grand Prix and its associated strategy unknowns in a “proactive” manner.
Due to the event’s maiden status, teams and drivers have been forced to constantly adjust their preparations since Friday free practice, given for instance the very slippery asphalt of the resurfaced Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Other unknown variables include potential rain during the race, tyre management over long runs, and brake and engine cooling at a higher altitude.
“There’s slightly more unknowns but there’s always a lot of unknowns going in each an every race,” said Smedley.
“What you’ve got to do is put down all the different scenarios that we expect to see and how we’re going to cope with them. If we do our preparation and we’re ready for each and every scenario, when they arise, we can react to them.
“But you can’t go into any race thinking the race is going to start like this and finish like this, and every lap in between is going to look in a certain way because it’s always different. We’ll be as reactive and hopefully proactive as well as possible.”
Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will line up sixth and seventh respectively on the grid this afternoon, while Red Bull – which is challenging Williams for P3 in the Constructors’ standings – has Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo in fourth and fifth position.
Although his squad still enjoys a 70-point cushion over the Milton Keynes-based outfit, Smedley is not willing to take any chances.
“We’ve got to go into [the race] with the absolute intention of beating Red Bull. They have outqualified us and we have to go in with the number one intention that we want to beat them.”
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