Claire Williams says Williams 'boosted' by successful first test with FW36 at Jerez
Team chief also says new signing Massa a "really great motivator"
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 10/02/14 3:18pm
The former multiple World Champions have initiated a major shake-up of their technical operation for this season in response to a depressing 2013 slump which saw them slip to ninth place in the Constructors' Championship - their joint-worst ever placing.
In addition to hiring Ferrari veteran Felipe Massa to lead the team's efforts on the track, Williams have also switched from Renault to Mercedes power for the first year of F1's new turbo era - a move that, on the first evidence of the first test at least, appears to be inspired after their former engine supplier struggled for mileage at Jerez.
Massa also finished the opening test with the fastest time on Day Four, but asked if expectations had now been raised upwards at the team as a result, Williams, the team's Deputy Team Principal, replied: "No, we never do that, not at Williams.
"It's the first test and it is a really difficult year, or different year, for everybody with the regulations.
"We did have a good test in Jerez which is obviously great for the team, it's a really good boost. But it's a really long season as everybody knows."
While Renault's three customers racked up 151 laps between them in Spain, Williams contributed 175 laps to the near-900 the four Mercedes-powered teams completed, the German manufacturer the clear 'winner' of the opening test.
"Mercedes are a fantastic partner, they've been really good for us over the past six months of development work for them," Williams added.
"So we're really looking forward to continuing that work for the rest of the year."
Williams also said that Massa's arrival at Grove had energised both the team and the Brazilian driver himself.
"He's such a great guy, he's a lovely guy and I think for him this is a new challenge, which is exciting for him," she explained.
"But it's exciting for everyone in the team and he's a really great motivator as well."
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News. The next test, in Bahrain, begins on Wednesday February 19.