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Slow but steady progress for Williams

May 10, 2013, 4:30 PM EST

AUTO-PRIX-F1-ESP-PRACTICE Getty Images

After a terrible start to the 2013 season, Williams appear to have made some progress with their first major upgrade package during practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Although the results were by no means spectacular, both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas appear to be tentatively optimistic about the progress made during the three week break.

“We’ve been working on different set-ups today and testing a number of new parts on each car,” explained 2012 race winner Maldonado. “We feel a little more positive, but we will analyse everything we tested today and hope to show the improvements in qualifying tomorrow.”

Bottas, one of five drivers to be racing at the Circuit de Catalunya for the first time in F1, was hampered like many by the wet weather in FP1, but he is pleased with how the car felt once the track had dried out for second practice.

“It was an interesting day for us,” Bottas said. “Unfortunately the weather wasn’t quite right in the first session, but this was the same for everyone. We were trying different parts on the car today, particularly in the second session, so we have a lot of data to analyse tonight to work out the best set-up for tomorrow. The initial feeling is that we are starting to take steps forward.”

Williams’ start to the season has been unspectacular, failing to score in the opening four races, but if the upgrades do greatly improve the performance of the FW35, this pointless streak could come to an end in Spain this weekend.

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