Williams Duo Outshone by Team Reserve Driver at the Nürburgring


Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado were outshone by their reserve driver at Williams today as the F1 team left Germany without any points.

Valtterri Bottas claimed his maiden GP3 victory in a wet race for ART this morning at the Nürburgring, but his success did not rub of onto either of his drivers for the grand prix this afternoon.

Barrichello was forced to retire from the grand prix after 16 laps when his team decided that an oil leak was terminal. The Brazilian was disappointed, particularly as he felt that he could have got a good result here today.

“We were doing quite well after making a good start and were looking comfortable for a two-stop strategy but then the team came on the radio and called me in with an oil leak,” he explained. “I wanted to continue but the team said there was no way and that was the right decision. It was slippery out there at the start but the main issue was the cold weather making it difficult to get the temperature into the tyres.”

Maldonado finished in P14, one place behind his starting position. “It was a really tough race today,” commented the Venezuelan. “We were quite competitive in the second stint on a new set of Option tyres but then when we went onto the Prime tyres for the last stint we were losing time. Our pace wasn't as good and we lost a few places.  We tried hard, but it wasn't to be today.”

Williams technical director Sam Michael explained what went wrong for his drivers today: “Unfortunately Rubens was out early with an engine oil leak today; we are still investigating the cause,” he said. “On Pastor's car we called an early first pitstop that moved him right up the order, however we then had too much tyre wear during the second stint, so it may have hurt the race outcome later on. Once we had that tyre wear we decided to risk doing a longer final stint on the prime tyre and that went against us today.”