Belgium Grand Prix 2018 – Practice

Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Friday 24 August 2018. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams Racing. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/Williams F1 ref: Digital Image _X4I7174

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: It has been a fairly straightforward day. We had a few aerodynamic tests to do this morning, which we ran through, but principally, we were concentrating on car set-up and, in particular, the rear wing level. I think we managed to understand from the first session where we needed to run with the rear wing level, so we did that and rebalanced the cars a little bit. The second session was just about trying to optimise the cars for low fuel and then get the long runs in. I think overall it is quite a difficult circuit, and you never get it dead right on a Friday, but both the drivers have done a decent job and we look like we may be able to edge forward slightly in relation to where we have been recently. We also brought forward some successful experiments from the Hungary tests, which will hopefully help us over the rest of the weekend.

Sergey Sirotkin: It was a usual Friday for us. It was busy, and we went through some interesting things. We don’t see it from the point of view of the timing results, as they probably don’t seem that positive, but I think we’re finding a more stable base. The weather helped us and the track isn’t the worst for our car. We still have the same balance limitations that have always been there, but the car is becoming more predictable and we’re finding a better base than we’ve had previously. These are small steps, but they are in the right direction. It won’t change our story massively, which we all know, but we’re trying to squeeze the very best from what we have. I think we’re in a good way.

Lance Stroll: We had some consistent running and were getting back into it after the break. We were working on set-up and the usual, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings as you never know what everyone else is doing, so it is just best to wait for qualifying and surprise yourself or disappoint yourself! We still need another step in general grip and balance. The circuit is cool, especially sector two with the high-speed stuff, as it is always fun when you hook it up. The atmosphere around the track on a Friday is great and you can see some real proper racing fans enjoying the cars, which is always nice.

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