WILLIAMS believe they have made big strides this week – despite a weather-affected first four-day test in Barcelona.

The Grove-based Formula 1 team faced a race against time to get their new-look car ready in time to take their place in Spain.

And although the weather meant no team was able to put in as many laps as they would have wanted, Williams felt they learnt plenty.

“It was still quite a good, productive week,” said new driver Sergey Sirotkin.

“Of course, it was not ideal in some aspects, but I believe we squeezed the best out of the situation.

“We haven’t got the full picture of the car yet but I think we can see some strong points and I believe we can make them even stronger.”

Teammate Lance Stroll added: “It’s been a big off-season for everyone and the expectations are high.”

Oxford Mail:

  • FEEDBACK: New Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin (left) talks with head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley and chief technical officer Paddy Lowe (right) Picture: Glenn Dunbar/Williams F1

The Enstone-based Renault team, however, did not feel they learnt as much about their car, especially on the final day.

But they are hopeful next week’s test will be more beneficial.

“We struggled to get some clean running and temperature into the wet and intermediate tyres on the final morning so it wasn’t as productive as we’d like,” said Nico Hülkenberg.

“The track did take a long time to dry out, with the new surface and still pretty cool conditions, so I only managed one dry, but still damp, run at the end of the day.

“Next week we’re hoping for much better from the Spanish skies.”

Carlos Sainz added: “I’m looking forward to next week where we can really get into testing and explore set up directions.”

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  • TOUGH DAY: Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg completes a lap at a damp Circuit de Catalunya Picture: XPB/James Moy Photography Ltd

The Haas team, from Banbury, were upbeat about their efforts.

“We got a lot of laps and it was nice to feel the car and get the first touch of the car’s balance and performance,” said Kevin Magnussen.

“We’re happy with what we’re seeing.”