Williams expecting to bounce back at favourable Spa venue


The Belgian Grand Prix should offer Williams a good opportunity to get itself back on its rails following a disappointing series of races before the summer break.

Viewed as a contender for 'best of the rest' behind the dominant Mercedes squad, Williams has not lived up to that expectation this year.

The Grove-based outfit appeared in contention in the early part of the season but has since lost its footing and is now at a fair distance from Red Bull and Ferrari as the fourth best F1 team in the constructors' standings.

"Spa is a circuit which should favour us and our target will be to challenge from the start to get some good points," says Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds.

"The first thing to say is that we expect dry and warm weather all weekend which is not typical of the conditions that we tend to see in Spa.

"The circuit itself is quite interesting with high power and drag sensitivity favouring low drag and powerful power units.

"Top speed is particularly important, so most cars are set-up with low drag, compromising speed in sector two to give them better opportunities to overtake into turns five and 18.

"Teams also tend to run cars quite stiff as you need good change of direction and whilst Eau Rouge is no longer a difficult corner, you still need to be cautious with ride heights to ensure the car doesn’t bottom-out there.

Williams' tyre choice at Spa reflects a rather aggressive stance with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa supplied with seven sets each of Pirelli's SuperSoft compound.

A somewhat surprising choice given the compound's limited wear but one which perhaps reflects the team's initial expectations for cool weather.

"Spa places high demands on tyres. In typical cool temperatures we would expect to see front graining at the start of the weekend with more even front and rear wear by race day.

"We are back to medium, soft and supersoft compounds which we have plenty of experience with this year, which combined with the 7km lap, means we expect to see most cars on two-stop strategies."

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