Rain continued to play a part in this year's World Championship as today's Chinese Grand Prix played out under steady rainfall creating difficult conditions for the drivers and a host of cars falling off the race track throughout the 56 laps. With...
Rain continued to play a part in this year's World Championship as today's Chinese Grand Prix played out under steady rainfall creating difficult conditions for the drivers and a host of cars falling off the race track throughout the 56 laps. With the race started under the safety car, the team opted to alter Nico's strategy, bringing him in early from seventh position. Unfortunately, an unexpectedly premature end to the safety car period left Nico at the back of the pack and unable to recover position leaving him in P15 at the end of the race. Kazuki's afternoon was similarly fruitless. After several excursions off the race track, his race ended on lap 43 following the team's first mechanical failure since the Spanish Grand Prix last year.
The main problem I had today was drops sticking to my visor which wouldn't run off making it virtually impossible to see. It's a problem related to my visor's anti-fog system which I've had in the past but haven't been able to resolve. 15 laps before the end of the race we were not in a good position so I asked to be switched onto intermediates as I thought we had to try something. For the first few laps, they were good. It looked like the way to go so I was quite pleased, but then unfortunately more rain came and it was all over again. Bahrain is only a week away and a good result, which everyone in the team deserves, is overdue.
I had a transmission problem today so unfortunately I couldn't carry on with the race. It was very difficult out there with really poor visibility. There was a lot of standing water and it was hard to keep the car on the track, particularly on the exit of the last corner. I made some mistakes but it was the same for everybody.
Patrick Head, Director of Engineering:
We thought the safety car would stay out for longer than it did at the start of the race so we decided to pull Nico in early to fuel him up. It turned out to be the wrong call as the safety car came in just one lap later. We then struggled for pace against Alonso who had done the same as us. We had what appears to be a gearbox failure on Kazuki's car which forced us to retire him. It was not a good performance by us today. We made some wrong calls and we will have to look at the circumstances and improve for the future. It's also very unusual for us to have a retirement for a technical failure. We will now look forward to a much better performance in Bahrain.
On a separate note, the team is saddened by the unexpected death of Jim Douglas. With Williams since the early days, Jim was a stalwart in our machine shop for 28 years.