• Barcelona Testing

Barrichello thinks Williams will surprise

ESPNF1 Staff
February 28, 2010 « Lotus won't trouble established teams - Trulli | »
Rubens Barrichello thinks the FW32 will be a front runner © Sutton Images

Rubens Barrichello thinks Williams could be the surprise package of the 2010 season.

The team showed its true potential at Friday's test in Barcelona, when Nico Hulkenberg set the fastest lap. It's not the first time in recent years that Williams has looked fast during pre-season testing, but more often than not, it has struggled to convert that pace into a sustained challenge on the championship. Nevertheless, Barrichello thinks the FW32 is now being considered as a serious threat by the top teams.

"I think Nico's time on Friday was the very first time we tried low fuel in the car, and we surprised a few people, so all of a sudden Williams is being talked about in the paddock," he said. "This winter it was very, very easy to become the hero of the winter test. If I took fuel out at every test I would've been first at every test, but would that have taught me what I now know from the car? I don't think so."

However, Barrichello said that he was reigning in his optimism and refused to predict exactly where the team would line up come qualifying in Bahrain.

"We have improved - we can only say for ourselves - but we have improved a good second from Valencia," he said. "We feel competitive, but I think Williams-Cosworth can be one of the teams to surprise people this year. But like I said it's really, really difficult and I'm just keeping myself very clear, my feet on the ground, and just working as hard as I can. But I feel the car is on a competitive level."