TURKISH GP QUALIFYING
Today’s qualifying session for the Turkish Grand Prix produced a more encouraging result for AT&T Williams as its drivers Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado recorded the 11th and 14th fastest times of the afternoon.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
We're heading in the right direction, thanks to a lot of hard work in the factory. Rubens starts the race in P11, and with new tyres, and Pastor in P14. The day wasn't without issue, however, as we had to revert to the standard rear wing on both cars after signs of aerodynamic separation on the new version in practice. That cost us some top speed. In addition, Pastor’s KERS wasn’t working, which lost him a couple of places on the grid. These are not excuses but rather that with these issues resolved, we have cause for optimism. Our target now is to get both cars in the points.
After all the work we have done this weekend at the factory and trackside, I have to always put a great lap together in qualifying and I’m very happy with my last lap. Unfortunately though, we just ended up outside the top ten, which is not that penalising with the tyre situation. We also weren’t running the new rear wing which was one of our upgrades for this race so it was a good qualifying session for us to finish 11th despite that.
That’s the happiest I’ve felt after a qualifying session this season. The new parts the team have worked really hard to deliver to this race have definitely improved the car. It feels quicker and easier to drive so our efforts have paid off. Because of a problem, I haven’t run KERS all weekend. If it was working in qualifying, we would have been three tenths quicker. Anyway, we need to focus on tomorrow now. It will be a difficult race and will probably be very tight, but I am confident that we can get a good result.