As is usual for Williams, the free Friday practice sessions at Monza were dedicated to Aero evaluations, set-up and tyre work.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: It’s been a bit of a disjointed day today with reliability issues, especially with Felipe’s car. He lost about 50 minutes with a turbo issue in FP1, and then about 30 minutes in FP2 as we had to change his brake by wire system. The main focus has been on assessing downforce levels to find the right compromise between downforce and drag, and I think we got some really clear answers on this towards the end of the session. Both drivers are right there on low and high fuel, so whilst there are a few things for us to do tonight, we’re confident going into tomorrow’s running.
Valtteri Bottas: Today went well. It’s always nice to drive here in Monza and we got everything that was planned done so we have plenty of information on downforce levels and how the tyres are performing in short and long runs. For sure we have a lot of work to do for tomorrow, but overall it was a good day. I think it’s going to be very close here and, looking at today and the long run pace we had, we definitely can have a good week. It’s too early to speculate much more than that, but I think we have an opportunity to be in reasonable positions this weekend.
Felipe Massa: It wasn’t a fantastic Friday for me personally as we had a couple of issues in FP1 and FP2 that limited my track time and what I could learn about the car. I’m in a very relaxed place after announcing my retirement plans yesterday, so my focus now is on having a competitive final eight races. I’ll be working hard overnight with the team to keep improving the car so that we can have another good result for Williams at what is a very special track for me.