Sam Michael is predicting a strong weekend in Malaysia for the Williams team.

Sam Michael is predicting a strong weekend in Malaysia for the Williams team.

Although the Grove squad is traditionally cautious rather than optimistic, technical director Michael was buoyed by the new FW31's form on the Albert Park circuit last weekend.

Nico Rosberg topped every timesheet at the 2009 season opener except in qualifying, and the German even set the fastest lap of the race before finishing sixth.

"If Nico had a clear track in front of him, only the Brawn was faster," Australian Michael is quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"On fast tracks we might even keep up with them," he predicted, then referring to this weekend's venue at Sepang which boasts "many more fast corners" than Melbourne.

Michael rejects his rivals' suggestions that teams like Brawn and Williams are only showing strong form because of their controversial rear diffuser designs.

"McLaren and Ferrari had to develop their 2008 cars right up to the end of the season, while Brawn and ourselves could concentrate early on the new rules," he said.

He also sounded hopeful that Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull's diffuser appeal later this month will fail.

"If they are not able to state better arguments than they did in Melbourne, they have no chance," said Michael.

 

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