Although it's quite obvious the difference in the behavior of the FW31 is related to the low fuel strategy decided upon by the Williams mechanics for the practice sessions, director of engineering Patrick Head insists the reason for that choice is for the drivers to feel more secure with their car during qualifying.
Head dismissed rumors that Frank Williams just wants to see his team's name on top of the timing charts on Friday, arguing that getting comfortable with a low-fueled car can only help the drivers on the transition between the 3 qualifying sessions. Every car has less fuel at the end of each session, when most of the fast laps are recorded, which should provide the two Williams drivers with the upper hand for the dying minutes of Q1/2.
“We never run qualifying levels of fuel. Other people must be running race fuel all the time. For us it's not because we want to be at the top of the time sheets, we want to give the driver a feel for what his car's going to be like at that very important time when he's trying to get through Q1 and Q2,” said Head, days before the Monaco Grand Prix.
“So maybe we have a different programme than other people, but it's not that we're trying to kid ourselves or anybody else,” added the Williams official.