Williams has no plans to change its Formula 1 design philosophy away from favoring high-speed circuits despite its slow-track struggles continuing, says performance chief Rob Smedley.
The team scored just a solitary point at the last grand prix in Monaco courtesy of Felipe Massa’s 10th place as its lack of low-speed performance was once again exposed.
But with Monaco just one of a handful of circuits of that nature on the calendar, Smedley says Williams must accept those races will be tough and instead focus on the bigger picture.
“We always correlate well with the higher the speed of the circuit, the higher the average speed,” said Smedley. “That always plays into where we have developed this car and where we will continue to develop it. We think it gives us more benefit than developing down to efficiency levels of Monaco and Singapore, places like that.
“You have to accept when you come to places like Monaco, they are not going to be the prettiest places for Williams. But when we go to Canada, Silverstone, Austria, places like that, obviously we would hope to benefit to get nearer to the Ferraris and Red Bulls and take the challenge to them.”
Although the results in Monaco suggested Williams was still struggling in low-speed, Smedley believes the team has made progress in that area and had the set-up in the right ballpark.
“We got a point which is good and we were a million miles away from a point last year,” he said. “But I think how much we’ve improved has been marked and we could have actually got a few more points, so it’s a bit disappointing. We were still learning how to use the car which was set up quite differently through the weekend, even getting up to qualifying.
“I was talking to the guys and saying now we have the car in the right ballpark and you are looking for small incremental gains to get us up to a better level than where we are now, like where the Force India was in Monaco. If you look at our pace compared to them, it was actually quite good. We’re not looking for a great deal now; it’s more logical as to how we find performance with the car whereas last year and the year before that we were a little bit lost.”