Williams drivers emphasise need for strong start

© XPB 

Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas have both underlined the importance of kicking off their 2015 campaigns with solid performances around the Albert Park Circuit this weekend.

Having topped the timesheets on the final day of pre-season testing with its new FW37, Williams is approaching the opening round of 2015 with a positive mindset. But the Grove-based team remains aware of its rivals’ potential progress over the course of the season.

Both Williams drivers thus look to avoid a repeat of last year’s scenario when the pair missed out on a strong initial point haul after hitting a few bumps along the way. Massa was taken out of the race on the very first corner when Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi rammed into the back of his FW36, while Bottas’ brush with the wall and ensuing puncture meant he had to settle for a fifth place finish.

“A new season and the first time we see where everyone is competitively,” said the Finn. “The weekend will be interesting but also important as we have to be able to have a strong start and make sure we gain the most from the weekend, especially as other teams improve.

"You never know how other teams will progress throughout the season, so points here are key.”

“Being the first race, Australia is important and normally holds a few surprises,” added team-mate Massa.

“All of the hard work over the winter gets its first rewards here, but it can also show a sign of how much work is still to be done. It’s important to start well and give yourself potentially a head start over your competitors.

“Australia is a tough track though and the rear stability is important. I also hope that I personally have a better start to the season than last year!”

The Australian Grand Prix weekend will start on Friday 13 March with the first practice session scheduled to take place at 12.30pm, local time.

Click here for the gallery from day four of the final test

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