Williams happy with 'invaluable' wet running despite curtailed sessions
Williams has described Friday's limited running at the Chinese Grand Prix as "invaluable", despite completing just 14 laps between both drivers due to a shortened first practice and an abandoned second practice due to weather conditions.
With just one day of wet pre-season running, which took place on an artificially dampened circuit, teams have gathered very little data on the intermediate and wet tyres, while Williams had no data at all, having been unable to take part in the wet test following a crash for Lance Stroll on the previous day.
Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe was therefore thankful that Williams could at least complete some laps during FP1, even if it was limited by red flags.
"Whilst it’s been a frustrating day for everyone, it’s probably more so for other teams, because we were able to make the best of the opportunity," he said of the session.
"We didn’t run in the wet in Barcelona during the pre-season tests so we had never driven the car in the wet. The small amount of running we did on the full wets in FP1, and the sets of laps on the intermediates were actually invaluable as we learnt how the car behaves in wet conditions and on wet tyres."
Lowe says the track time was "particularly good" for rookie Lance Stroll, as he has never driven an F1 car in wet conditions.
"The pace was encouraging for the car but also for Lance, who was able to drive with confidence in those conditions," he added.
"I feel the worst for the fans! We have some really enthusiastic fans in China and they’ve been denied the excitement of the cars running today.
"From our point of view, we have a lot of homework to do ahead of qualifying and the race, which we haven’t done today, but it’s the same for everyone so that’s the challenge we face together."