Williams has 'high' Silverstone hopes

Autosport

Williams has 'high hopes' that it can maintain its strong 2012 form heading into the team's home race at Silverstone this weekend.

Pastor Maldonado, who ended Williams's eight-year winless streak at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, was heading for another podium in Valencia when he collided with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton while the pair contested third place.

And a combination of a new aero package and the fact that the British GP venue has some similar characteristics to Barcelona, has the team's chief operations engineer Mark Gillan believing Williams could be in contention again in Britain.

"Following our strong showing in Valencia, which unfortunately ultimately ended in disappointment, we head to our home grand prix with high hopes," said Gillan. "Pirelli bring their hard (prime) and soft (option) tyres to this race, which is the same pairing that we used successfully in Barcelona.

"We will also bring an updated aerodynamic package to the event which is imperative given the importance of aerodynamic efficiency around this track and how tight the grid is at present.

"The long range forecast doesn't look particularly promising, predicting a reasonable chance of rain and strong winds throughout the weekend, which could lead to an eventful qualifying and race."

Maldonado thinks a points finish is a strong possibility after his curtailed run at the European Grand Prix: "I think the track will suit our car because it's similar to Barcelona and it's also very fun to drive with sections like Maggots and Becketts which really test you as a driver.

"The pace of the car in Valencia was very promising and we have a number of updates expected for this race as well so hopefully we can give the home fans a good result."

Maldonado's team-mate Bruno Senna shared the team's confidence ahead of Silverstone.

"It is one of my favourite tracks because it’s high speed and flows really well," said the Brazilian. "Our car has good pace at the high down force tracks and is good on high speed corners as well so it should suit Silverstone.

"Whilst we didn't get the result we were hoping for in Valencia we showed that our car can be very competitive and with more updates planned for this race I'm optimistic about what we can achieve."

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