Conducted and provided by Williams press office.
Q. How did the high temperatures in Valencia affect the performance of the FW31?
Rod Nelson, Chief Operations Engineer: Although it felt very hot in Valencia, temperatures weren't actually that high; it just felt extremely hot due to the high humidity levels. As a comparison, air temperatures at the Bahrain Grand Prix reached 39 degrees C with just 10% humidity, while temperatures were just 31 C in Valencia but humidity levels hit 60%.
Q. Were there any tire wear issues on either car?
RN: We didn't have any significant tyre wear problems, no. We experienced a little graining on the front left tyre, but it didn't have any significant impact on performance.
Q. How much did the track conditions change over the course of the weekend?
RN: Although the circuit wasn't too dusty, the track was quite green in the early stages of Friday's practice session because there wasn't any rubber on the track. We were running the softest Bridgestone tires which laid plenty of rubber down and that certainly helped increase grip levels. On average, that improved the lap times by approximately one second per lap in each session.
Q. What caused the technical problem on Kazuki's car during qualifying, and where could he have qualified without it?
RN: We had an issue with the throttle control system on Kazuki's car during his second run in qualifying. We have a safety system in place which shuts the engine down if it detects that the throttles are not following the driver's demand, so this kicked in and stopped Kazuki out on track. Both Nico and Kazuki were close all weekend up to this point so he should certainly have made it into the top ten. It's very difficult to be accurate when the grid is so tight, but I estimate he should have qualified between sixth and ninth.
Q. How did your cars fare against the KERS cars of McLaren and Ferrari at the start of the race?
RN: KERS wasn't a big issue at the start for two reasons. Firstly, turn one isn't always taken flat out at the start of the race (particularly if you are on the dirty, left-hand side of the track (where Raikkonen was), so the KERS cars can't use the additional 80 horsepower anyway. Secondly, it's also then a relatively short distance to the first serious braking point for turn two.
Q. Nico finished less than a second behind Heikki Kovalainen. Was fourth place ever really on the cards for him?
RN: We were aiming for Nico to finish ahead of Raikkonen and that was achievable. However, in the early part of Nico's second stint, we unexpectedly lost some performance for about 10 laps and that consigned us to finishing not only behind Raikkonen, but also behind Kovalainen as well.