Japanese GP: Williams race notes

Suzuka (JAP). It was a bitter ending to an exciting season for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, whose FIA F1 World Constructors' Championship hopes vanished due to a loss of hydraulic pressure on Juan Pablo Montoya's car in the early part of the race...

Suzuka (JAP). It was a bitter ending to an exciting season for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team, whose FIA F1 World Constructors' Championship hopes vanished due to a loss of hydraulic pressure on Juan Pablo Montoya's car in the early part of the race which forced his retirement and Ralf Schumacher finishing out of the points after an eventful race. The Team finished second in the Constructors' rankings, with Juan Pablo and Ralf 3rd and 5th respectively in the Drivers' Championship.

Ralf Schumacher:

"I am obviously massively disappointed about the result of this race as the outcome could have been completely different. I started the race from a difficult last position and I was able to pass several cars getting into the points positions but in the end I didn't take any reward from it. The whole team has not been rewarded for their great effort, in the end."

Juan Pablo Montoya:

"It's a true shame as our car has been very reliable this year and the effort that WilliamsF1 and BMW have put into this Championship has been huge. There's nothing you can do, this is motor racing and these things happen. My start today was quite good, the track was a bit damp but I still got past Rubens on the first lap, at my second attempt. I was coming out of the hairpin really slowly and I think Rubens was trying to protect his line and touched the white line, going slightly sideways and had to lift the throttle a little, so I went for it. I had to and it worked. Then I thought I had just to pace myself. I was very pleased with the way the car was performing and we had a really good strategy. Then, bad luck, on lap 9 I felt a loss of some controls and that was it. With hindsight, I'm not that displeased that I was no longer in the battle for the Drivers' Championship, because retiring at the last race, in this way, would have been much harder. If I look back at the season, I am very, very happy with the job I made. I learned a lot from last year and I have matured as a driver."

Frank Williams (Team principal, WilliamsF1):

"It was a disappointing end to a brilliant F1 season, but there remains much encouragement for us for the next year."

Patrick Head (Technical Director, WilliamsF1):

"We fought very hard all year but we started too weakly and that put a lot of pressure on us at the end, which I don't think was really the problem but ultimately the results in our last few races of the year have been very poor, although the car speed has been very good. We will be going home now and analysing what has happened and we'll try to make sure we do much better next year. I want to give credit to all the people in the team, both in Grove and Munich and the support from our partners and sponsors because everybody has worked very hard this year. Second in the Constructor's Championship isn't first but still the team has improved enormously through the year and that's pleasing to see. Well done to Michael and Ferrari!"

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director):

"This last race reflected the whole season for our team, it was just like a rollercoaster. After a weak start to the season we had the Constructor's Championship within reach but in the last few races we have to acknowledge that our team is still not quite strong enough. There were too many mistakes and this includes today's race. It is a small comfort to us that the P83 engine did not experience any failures in all of the 16 races. With hindsight, we can still say that it is clear that this year we made a big jump forward. With four victories,including two one-two finishes, this was our strongest season so far. We managed to keep the Constructors' title undecided until the last race. The developments for 2004 should ensure that we will be competitive from the start of the season. Congratulations to Michael Schumacher and Ferrari for having won both titles. They have been a little too strong for us, this time."

Ralf Schumacher:
12th
Chassis: FW25 07
Best time: 1:33,408 min (lap 43, fastest overall)

Juan Pablo Montoya:
DNF (technical problem on lap 9)
Chassis: FW25 06
Best time: 1:33,830 min (lap 2 5th overall)

Weather: overcast, dry. Air 21C, track 22-23C

Test: Valencia 25-28 Nov (three days JPM +RS + MG, last day MG only)

-williams-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Williams