Trident’s Calan Williams is expecting a very tough event this weekend at Paul Ricard. The Australian is already preparing for the sweltering conditions that are forecast from Friday to Sunday in Le Castellet, and the limitations won’t solely be on the tyres.

Williams says that driver fitness could be a critical factor in both the Sprint and Feature Races. With the temperatures expected to be comfortably in the mid-30’s, surviving the heat and maintaining performance levels could hold as much of an advantage as easing the Pirelli rubber to the chequered flag.

“It will make the tyre degradation situation a bit more difficult. I'm not 100% sure how bad it's going to be here especially with the compounds we have and they change a little bit every year. But the heat definitely won't help with the tyre deg. So we might see some interesting strategies in the races depending on what teams expect, but at the moment, I'm not expecting anything too fancy.

“Also actually inside the car, driving when you've got three layers of big fireproof stuff on as well, it gets very hot inside the car, which will add a bit to the fatigue effect and it'll make the actual physical fitness of each driver even more important.”

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Paul Ricard is a circuit Williams does have prior experience around having driven the circuit last year in Formula 3. Having made the step up to F2 this year with Trident, he says the adaptation to the fast-paced nature of the season has been one of the biggest things to acclimatise to.

While he hasn’t had a stand-out result to point to just yet, the Trident man knows what he needs to do in order to thread together a positive weekend, and the work will start early on this weekend.

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He missed Free Practice in Spielberg last time out, a factor that he believes cost him a few tenths in pace for the remainder of the weekend. A clean Qualifying session is what Williams is coveting more than anything, and if he can get a good lap in then the Trident driver believes a positive result is on the cards.

“It has been a long season so far, much busier than I've been used to in the past, but I'm definitely looking forward to this one. It's a nice track. I’ve had some good results here in the past, so I can't wait to get going. We were here with Formula 3 last year. This car around the circuit is going to be completely different compared to Formula 3. But at the same time, I think the preparation I've done with the team has been very good and I'm sure as soon as we get on track, I'll be ready.

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“The aim for me this weekend is to get a good performance in Qualifying. After that you’re basically set for the weekend. I think last time out in Austria, missing practice was a big shame because I'm sure I would have been much more competitive in that session. I think I was missing only one and a half tenths or two tenths to make the top 10. So going into Qualifying with zero practice I think it was a good result. And I'm sure if I had the 15 laps in practice I would have gone into Qualifying and been much faster, so the potential is definitely there. We just need to get a solid result in that then the weekend is good.”

Williams is aiming to end the first half of the campaign on a high at Paul Ricard to set he and his Trident team up for a positive second phase of the season.

Teammate Richard Verschoor crossed the line first in the Spielberg Feature Race before losing the victory for a post-race technical infringement, but Williams says that it is the type of result that the team is capable of achieving on a more regular basis, and one that it richly deserves for all of the efforts it has put in.

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As well as expecting big things for the team, the Australian has set himself some high targets too, not attempting to use the label of rookie to temper expectations.

“The team works very hard, that's obviously key. But all the preparation we do with the engineers in the sim also helps a lot. I think they're very committed to what they do, and everything goes really well. I'm honestly very happy with the preparation that we do together, and the team is very passionate about what they do, which is very important. It's not just a turn up to work, do a job and go home. This is their lives. This is what they care about. I'm sure you can see how happy they all were when they won the race in Bahrain. I think the work everyone's putting in how Richard and I are working together as well is helping a lot to push everyone forward.

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“I think in terms of actual results, it could be much better in terms of the potential I have compared to the results. Unfortunately, in the last few rounds, I've had some very good opportunities to finish in top 10 but then things have happened on track and I haven't had the result. So I think it's a shame but the potential is definitely there.

“Everything in terms of preparation on the sim was all fine. We're all going fast on the sim so I expect a good weekend. And I know a good weekend is certainly possible and it's actually the expected result for me. But in the end if things happen out of my control on track, it's just a bit unfortunate. But in terms of moving forward from this point to the end of the season, I'm really looking forward to it.”