• The Williams-Renault FW34 proved promising in the season opener.
• Pastor was running in a solid sixth position until a last lap spin ended his race.
• Bruno’s race was hampered by an unscheduled pitstop following a first corner collision with Daniel Ricciardo.
• Bruno retired on lap 53, after making contact with Felipe Massa.
• Pastor was classified 13th, with Bruno 16th.
The car looked good today. Our pace was quick and consistent and we were looking competitive right up until the moment I had on the last lap, which is very important. Unfortunately, I just lost the back of the car while pushing Alonso and I had nowhere to go.
I had a great start, but I tried to take the outside line at the first corner and I felt someone make contact with me. I then had to do an extra pit stop which made things difficult. My race was looking better but then I had a tangle with Massa so luck wasn’t on our side today. That’s racing though, and we now look forward to making up for it in Malaysia next weekend.
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer:
Whilst the end result was disappointing for the team, we are all very pleased with the significant performance improvement of the FW34, with the car showing both good qualifying and race pace. We will now regroup and look forward to delivering a strong performance in Malaysia next weekend.
Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 team support leader:
This weekend the Williams-Renault package has shown itself to be competitive, which validates the hard work we’ve put in since the announcement last year. Pastor had an amazing weekend right until the very last lap and it was a shame he could not score some points to consolidate the good form. Bruno was very unfortunate and ultimately we had to make a call at the end of the race to stop the car.
Debris from the accident with Massa had become sucked in the sidepods and water temperature was starting to rise. This engine has to be re-used in Malaysia so we made a call to prevent any damage to the unit. We’re looking forward to Sepang now, and are encouraged by this weekend’s overall performance.