MONACO GRAND PRIX RACE
In what was one of the most tense battles of the 2011 Championship so far, Rubens Barrichello took his best finishing position of the year and claimed AT&T Williams’ first points of the season with a ninth place finish. Today’s action-packed Monaco Grand Prix also allowed Pastor Maldonado to demonstrate his abilities.
After a competitive performance in qualifying and a well managed race, Pastor looked set to bring home sixth for the team. The prospect of a double points-scoring conclusion, however, ended abruptly. Shortly after the re-start a collision with Hamilton’s McLaren forced Pastor out of the race with just five laps to go.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
It was a good result to get some points on the board. It was close to being a lot more but that is the nature of Monte Carlo. Pastor has driven outstandingly all weekend, so it is a shame that his race ended in the barriers. The tyres were solid all afternoon but it became clear that it would be a two-stop race strategy for us. The safety cars both hurt us as well as we lost a lot of time with both drivers. On the positive side, we didn’t have any reliability issues and we’re looking to continue developing the car ahead of Canada.
With six laps to go, I thought tenth was the best result we were going to achieve today. I ended up ninth, but not in the way I would have liked to as it was at the expense of my team mate.
We lost some really good points for the team so that is disappointing. I’m happy that I’ve broken my run of bad luck though. The safety car didn’t help us as our one-stop strategy would have worked well had I not just done my pitstop before it was deployed. There are positives and negatives to take from today, the positive being we scored some points.
The final result was not what we wanted but the rest of the race was good. My pace was strong but after the re-start Hamilton tried a very ambitious manoeuvre at the first corner and that was the end of my race. I’m really disappointed not to come away with any points today.