The AT&T Williams team's race prospects in the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai today were tempered by a poor qualifying outcome on Saturday which gave the team limited opportunity to compete for a good finish. Given the qualifying result, the team...
The AT&T Williams team's race prospects in the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai today were tempered by a poor qualifying outcome on Saturday which gave the team limited opportunity to compete for a good finish. Given the qualifying result, the team deployed a one-stop strategy for Kazuki Nakajima and a two-stop strategy for Nico Rosberg to retain the widest degree of flexibility for differing race scenarios. Ultimately, the absence of any major weather or safety car events and the timing of pitstops meant that the one-stop option for Kazuki proved to be the more fruitful. He advanced from 17th on the grid to 12th at the finish, a position he strongly defended on the run to the flag. Nico Rosberg was less able to progress with his two stop programme and finished P15.
I think it was a good race for me considering where I started. Initially it was very hard work managing the car on a heavy fuel load. I lost position off the line, but during the first stint I managed to develop a good race pace. The other significant part of the race for me was the last period when I had to work hard to keep quite a few cars behind me and defend my position, and I was pleased that I succeeded in this.
My race was not good today, but it wasn't for lack of trying. We ran a different strategy to Kazuki just to see if we could generate some advantage, but it didn't pay off and it wasn't a lot of fun driving at the back. It didn't really represent our capability as our pace was okay and we were the tenth fastest car. I made a few passes but it was quite difficult to overtake as our top gear was too short. From here we can look forward to Brazil which should be a bit better for us, and then after this season working with the team on a positive winter in order to move us forward for next year.
Patrick Head, Director of Engineering:
It was not a strong result today, but I thought Kazuki did a good job defending his position. As we qualified poorly, we had to do something a bit adventurous with our strategy, so we split our options on the cars, but unfortunately the two stop route we took with Nico didn't work. Having not attended a race for some time, I must say I am very impressed with the professionalism of the race team. The car is reliable, but the problem remains that on this type of circuit it is just not quick enough.