Williams: Victory possible at Spa and Monza
Rob Smedley believes there is a possibility Williams can challenge Mercedes for victory when Formula One returns to action after the summer break.
The next two races will take place on the high-speed circuits of Spa Francorchamps and Monza, which should play to the strengths of Williams' car. Smedley said the team's ambition is to win and, following a run of podiums at recent races, he wants it to start challenging for victories as soon as possible.
"It's a possibility," he said when asked if Williams could challenge Mercedes at Spa and Monza. "As I've quite often said, the ambition of the team is to win the world championship, and in order to win the world championship you have to beat everybody. I think we know that the world championship is a little bit one-sided this year, but that doesn't stop us preparing ourselves for the years to come.
"Running at the front and winning races is something that this team needs to re-learn how to do. You saw that once we re-learned how to be slick enough to get podiums they kept falling out of the jackpot machine at us."
Smedley said the layout of both Spa and Monza would suit Williams due to its powerful Mercedes engine and low-drag aerodynamic package.
"Both of those tracks will suit our car very well, I would have thought. That's mainly because the power sensitivity at those tracks is very high, so every 1bhp you have is worth more than at other tracks, and the drag sensitivity, especially at Spa, is very high.
"We know that our car is strong in both of those areas. Additionally, in somewhere like Spa, with harder compounds, it can sometimes be quite difficult to get the tyres turned on and I think our car can do that, especially when it's a front-end problem. I'm reasonably confident that our car can go well in both of those races, but I've said before that we don't fear anywhere really.
"In Hungary people would say: 'Williams with their low-drag configuration is not going to be any good around the hot and twisty Budapest'. And then in qualifying, apart from the Mercedes, we were right there just 0.1s off the Red Bull."