The Korean Grand Prix ended in disappointment for Williams F1, with Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna coming home in 14th and 15th places respectively.
Chief Operations Engineer Mark Gillan talks us through a difficult weekend for the team and he explains why the Indian Grand Prix in a fortnight's time should be better for the team.
MG: We were simply not quick enough this weekend with both drivers hampered by inconsistent car handling issues.
Q: Tyre wear was a concern for all of the teams. How much did it hinder the performance of the FW34 in the race, and how marginal was Pastor's one-stop strategy?
MG: A one-stop strategy was marginal for the tyres and in particular the front right hand side tyre. Having said that, Pastor has excellent tyre management skills and was able to make the one-stop work.
Q: You started the race with both cars on the super-soft rubber. What were the strategic benefits of doing that?
MG: We felt that this was the better starting tyre because it would allow us to attack from our rearwards position on the grid.
Q: Can you tell us any more about the front wing debris that affected Bruno's race?
MG: Yes both front wings had a lot of tyre debris excrescence after the race and this hampers their performance.
During the race Bruno also picked up some debris in the front wing which was once again likely to be tyre marbles, but thankfully it cleared itself prior to the pitstop.
Q: Please sum up the performances of Bruno and Pastor in Korea.
MG: This has probably been our most disappointing race of the season in that both cars had decent race starts and had no contact issues during the race but we were clearly too far off the pace to challenge for points.
We do understand why we struggled this weekend and need to address the balance consistency problem that hampered the drivers' performance.
Q: Going forward, what is the development programme for the team? Will you continue to develop the FW34, or is the factory now focused on next year’s FW35?
MG: As a team we will be developing the FW34 until the last race whilst also balancing the development needs for both the FW35 and all new FW36.
Q: The Indian Grand Prix comes next. What kind of a challenge does the Buddh International Circuit present, and how do you expect the FW34 to perform?
MG: Logistically it’s a difficult race as almost all of our equipment goes direct from Korea to Delhi and then onto Abu Dhabi, so getting new parts to the track can be problematic.
Our initial simulations of Delhi prior to turning up there last year were very accurate and we expect to be fighting once more for points.
Source: Williams F1 Team