Having made a clear step forward in car performance this weekend, the AT&T Williams team was unable to realise its potential with both Rubens and Nico suffering car damage that forced unscheduled stops during this afternoon's race. Running a split...
Having made a clear step forward in car performance this weekend, the AT&T Williams team was unable to realise its potential with both Rubens and Nico suffering car damage that forced unscheduled stops during this afternoon's race. Running a split strategy by starting Nico on the prime tyre and Rubens on the option, the team had both the pace and tactical options to claim points today before early first stint accidents involving both cars pushed the team outside of the top ten.
We were there today with our pace to bank some points, but it became a very busy race. I had a problem on the grid, so I had to make up some places. I passed Alguersuari, but he came across me to cover his line too late as I was already there. He hit me with a big, 2g impact. The damage blocked my front left brake duct and when the temperatures climbed, I lost the pedal and had to let cars by until I could pit. Even after the stop, it took three laps for the brake pedal to come back, so the incident really destroyed our race and it is frustrating for the whole team as we certainly had a car capable of a good finish today.
Although the race started well - I was up to p8 on the first lap - the rest of my afternoon didn't go as well. The first problem occurred when I was fighting with Sutil and I damaged my front wing, which meant that I had to make an unscheduled stop on lap 6. Then unfortunately on my second stop I broke the speed limit, which meant a drive-through penalty. All of these incidents cost a lot of time and we didn't achieve a points finish which was clearly possible today. In summary, I think we had a much-improved car here and I am sorry that I did not manage to capitalise on all the hard work the team put in this weekend.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
We had lots of issues during the race today. On Rubens car, we had an anti-stall at the race start, from which he made a reasonable recovery; however he then lost some positions at turn 2 because of an accident in front of him. Shortly after his first pit stop for prime tyres, he came together with another car and had to pit again for a front wing change. Nico had a good first lap, then ran into the back of another car on lap 6, forcing him to pit for a spare front wing. He made reasonable progress then, but had to take a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit lane.