It was a mixed result for AT&T Williams at the Nürburgring today with Pastor Maldonado bringing his Williams Cosworth FW33 home in 14th while teammate Rubens Barrichello was forced to retire on lap 16.
A good start from 14th on the grid allowed Rubens to move up to 11th by the end of the first lap. However, just a quarter of the way into the German Grand Prix, the telemetry showed an oil leak and the call went out for the Brazilian to return to the pits, ending his race. Pastor continued with his planned two-stop strategy, crossing the line in 14th after 60 laps of racing action.
It was a really tough race today. We were quite competitive in the second stint on a new set of Option tyres but then when we went onto the Prime tyres for the last stint we were losing time. Our pace wasn’t as good and we lost a few places. We tried hard, but it wasn’t to be today.
We were doing quite well after making a good start and were looking comfortable for a two-stop strategy but then the team came on the radio and called me in with an oil leak. I wanted to continue but the team said there was no way and that was the right decision. It was slippery out there at the start but the main issue was the cold weather making it difficult to get the temperature into the tyres.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
Unfortunately Rubens was out early with an engine oil leak today; we are still investigating the cause.
Rubens was out early with an engine oil leak today; we are still investigating the cause
On Pastor’s car we called an early first pitstop that moved him right up the order, however we then had too much tyre wear during the second stint, so it may have hurt the race outcome later on. Once we had that tyre wear we decided to risk doing a longer final stint on the prime tyre and that went against us today.
Congratulations also go to our test driver Valtteri Bottas, who claimed his maiden GP3 victory in a wet race for ART earlier today. After coming through from 11th on the grid to third in yesterday’s action-packed race, he had a fantastic second race this morning, driving through from seventh to take the lead by the end of the first lap. He then held position until the chequered flag to end the morning on the top step of the podium.