Patrick Head

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

THE RACE TO IMPROVE

As I write this, between the Malaysian and Chinese Grands Prix, we can draw some initial conclusions about how each team has fared in the opening races.

During the season a comparator is available to each team every two weeks or so, but for about four months this comparator is missing. Each team is just working as hard and effectively as they are able to adapt to new rules and make performance steps on every parameter but have little or no knowledge in how they compare. Some idea of competitive position is realised from viewing the cars and testing in February, but it’s not until the first races that the pecking order becomes clear.

No rocket science is required to deduce that the combination of Sebastian Veffel and the 2011 Red Bull is outstanding. Red Bull have apparently moved seamlessly from 2010 into 2011, and it will be very interesting to see whether they can turn this into a clear points gap before the European season starts in mid-May.

McLaren are closest, a surprise after a troubled pre-season, but they have a remarkable capacity to recover and should never be underrated. Ferrari were disappointing after strong preparation but were a little closer in Malaysia. The car is reliable and Fernando Alonso is formidable, but I was expecting more. Sauber look to be well prepared, and their scrutineering problems aside, should have a strong season. Petrov in the Renault was outstanding in Melbourne. He improved strongly through 2010, and is now in the team on merit despite his spectacular mistake in Malaysia. Perez had a strong first GP, and surprised many with his single pitstop. Mercedes did not show strongly after their improvements at the last pre-season test, but I expect them to bounce back.

As for Williams, we’ve shown promise rather than achievement which is pretty galling for the guys who have been working their balls off on the new cars. Rubens made some errors in Melbourne which I am sure will not be repeated, and in the race we suffered some unreliability in the driveline, which did not occur prior to the season. In Malaysia our performance wasn’t good and then an ignition coil failed on Pastor’s engine, while Rubens had to drive a full lap on one driving wheel after a left rear puncture, which unfortunately put too much energy through the differential and damaged a hydraulic seal. That meant all the hydraulic oil came out and went into the gearbox.

Much of our testing was affected by sorting out the Williamsdesigned and developed KERS. I think we are the only team to have designed our own system, which has run totally reliably and contributed to the numerous overtaking manoeuvres by Rubens in Melbourne.

We have been pleasantly surprised by the new Pirelli tyres. Wear is high but degradation over distance is not as bad as in testing, in particular at Barcelona. The hot track and long fast corners were, however challenging for the tyres in Malaysia and we saw some teams making as many as four stops for fresh rubber.

It will be interesting to see how the teams view the value of KERS as the season progresses all teams are running on tight budgets, and KERS adds considerably to their costs. The lack of KERS application in 2010 was by agreement of the teams only, in the light of difficult financial times. I wonder whether the teams will consider it to be an asset to F1 by the end of 2011. As an engineer it is extremely interesting technology which has relevance for road vehicles, but added value for racing may be questionable.

So, no glory for Williams thus far, but we have some very good people at all levels on our race team, and I was doubtful that I could add to our work there. But the unreliability problems are something we should not have, and I suspect I can contribute more with the engineers and technicians in our factory to help eliminate these. So I will probably be less present at the track this year. I shall be taking a keen interest in our progression.

Related articles

Related products