Conducted and provided by Williams's press office.
Q. Describe the atmosphere at AT&T Williams after the Singapore Grand Prix.
Sam Michael: The whole team, including the staff at the factory, were really happy with the on-track performance of the FW31 throughout the entire weekend. We knew from our high fuel, long runs on Friday that the car was competitive and that carried through Saturday and Sunday. It was a good demonstration that the design team are developing the 2009 car as fast as any of the other teams.
Q. Even with his drive-through penalty, where could Nico have finished the race had there not been a Safety Car period?
SM: Most likely, third behind Vettel, but he then would have inherited second place following Vettel's penalty which came later on in the race. On pure pace, Lewis, Nico and Sebastian had the podium sewn up before the Safety Cars.
Q. Relative to the opposition, the pace of the FW31 improved significantly on Saturday. What did you change on the car?
SM: Because it's a street circuit, the track was fairly green at the start of the session. Once some cars had gone out and laid some rubber, the circuit improved significantly which helped. We also fine tuned the aero and mechanical parts of the set-up, both of which helped improve our performance.
Q. Had you expected the car to be so competitive around the Marina Bay circuit?
SM: I expected Nico to be in the top five, so getting into the top three in qualifying was a bonus. Although his performance in Q2 was great, I was personally much more impressed by his strong lap times during the race.
Q. Yet again Kazuki just missed out on a points finish. Was this one of his stronger races of the season?
SM: Yes, it was certainly and it was a shame that he missed out on a points finish when the car was so strong.
Q. tire wear proved critical all weekend. How did the super-soft rubber hold up on the FW31?
SM: We didn't have any issues with tire wear. We did have some small graining on the rear tire with the super-soft, but only for a few laps before it started to clean up again.
Q. Do you expect the team to be as competitive at Suzuka next weekend?
SM: I expect us to be competitive, but I'm not sure if we will be as strong as we were in Singapore. We're bringing some more upgrades to the FW31 for the race and our target will definitely be points having missed out on them this weekend.