Willams press release
AT&T Williams leaves Suzuka with a two car finish but no points today as tyre degradation and a safety car deployment compromised both its drivers’ races. Pastor Maldonado’s late surge in the closing laps saw him clear the Toro Rosso of Alguersuari to claim 14th at the flag, while Rubens Barrichello concluded the Japanese Grand Prix in 17th. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel on his second Drivers’ World Championship.
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer:
We split the strategy today with Rubens starting on the option tyre on a three stop and Pastor on a two stop on primes. When the safety car was deployed, we switched Pastor onto a three stop strategy. Both drivers fought hard throughout the race but unfortunately we didn't have the pace to make it into the points. We will continue to develop the car and look ahead to Korea and India.
We had a difficult start on the prime tyres and our pace in the first stint was penalised quite heavily by them. We went onto the options at the second pitstop and that improved our pace considerably. We became fairly consistent after that.
Towards the end of the race our pace was quick, I think possibly the quickest it’s been all weekend, but it was too late as we’d already lost out on a better finish in the opening laps. I did the best I possibly could today but it was not enough.
Everything seemed to be playing our way at the start but then the safety car was deployed. That was bad timing for us. It closed the pack up and left us struggling on the wrong tyre at the end of the race which was too slow.