The AT&T Williams team didn't manage to fulfil its potential in a typically incident-packed opening race in Melbourne today, and had to content itself with a handful of points and a fastest race lap to take to next weekend's Malaysian GP. With the...
The AT&T Williams team didn't manage to fulfil its potential in a typically incident-packed opening race in Melbourne today, and had to content itself with a handful of points and a fastest race lap to take to next weekend's Malaysian GP. With the cars running in the top five and both drivers showing some committed overtaking manoeuvres, the team's march was interrupted by a problem in Nico's first pitstop on lap 16. Shortly afterwards, Kazuki had a high-speed spin, hitting the wall and retiring. From here Nico fought to recover lost ground, in the process setting the fastest lap of the race and collected two points for a seventh place finish.
It was a challenging race and we suffered with a few glitches here and there, firstly from my side when on lap one I left the door open at turn three and I lost some positions, and then we had a problem on my first pit stop. The restart after the first safety car on cold tyres was very difficult, I had no grip at all and again in the last part of the race, I had taken everything out of my tyres and they were dropping out, so it was impossible to keep anyone behind me. All said, I think two points is a good outcome because I believe we are faster than a couple of the cars who finished ahead of us today, so from a championship perspective, it's looks okay. It was an exciting race today thanks to the new rules.
I had a quite a big accident on lap 17 when I ran wide at turn four and I hit the kerb, which unsettled the car and then I lost the rear. It was quite a fast impact, but I had a precautionary check in the medical centre, everything is fine and physically I am okay, but of course the outcome - my retirement - hurts! The race was really enjoyable, we had a good pace, good fuel and good tyres, so I have to keep all the positives in mind and take these forward to Malaysia next weekend.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
We showed encouraging pace in today's race and when the car was in clear traffic, we were as quick as anyone and Nico recorded the fastest lap of the race and did a good job. But we made too many mistakes as a team today and we will be looking to make a better job of what the car offers at the next race in Malaysia. Congratulations to Ross Brawn, Jenson and their team for an impressive result, we will try our best not to let them make a habit of it!