- Jerez Test, Day One
Williams learning about new Pirellis
Williams technical director Mike Coughlan said the team had been able to gain a good understanding of the new Pirelli tyres by running its old car on the opening day of testing.
After Marussia and Caterham launched their new cars this morning, Williams is now the only team not to be running its 2013 car at the first test at Jerez. The team will unveil the FW35 ahead of the second test in Barcelona and Coughlan said that the work carried out with a known quantity in last year's car had proven to be a beneficial move on the first day.
"Jerez is a unique circuit that we don't race on during the season and it provides the perfect opportunity to do some final test and development work ahead of the FW35 launch," Coughlan said. "Today was a good day for us with Pastor [Maldonado] completing 84 laps in the FW34. We concentrated on running some new systems in preparation for the FW35, as well as some planned set-up changes. We would be reluctant to do these over a normal race weekend as you lose too much track time making the changes, so it was ideal for us to get these into our programme today. It was also interesting to see the new Pirelli tyres in action and having the FW34 here helped us to really understand how the tyres are working."
Maldonado admitted it was good to be back driving after the winter break even though it was in the old car.
"We had no problems today and the car felt very consistent so we were able to learn a lot, which will be useful for the FW35 development," Maldonado said. "We planned to run the FW34 to enable us to have a reliable car to test the new tyres with and also try some different set-ups. It's great to finally be back on track after what felt like a long winter and I'm confident we can achieve a lot this week."