For the twelfth time this season, Williams leave a race without collecting a single point after Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello could finish only fourteenth and seventeenth respectively at the Japanese Grand Prix.
“We had a difficult start on the prime tyres and our pace in the first stint was penalised quite heavily by then,” explained Maldonado. “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.”
Barrichello thinks that the timing of the safety car was responsible for his lowly position at Suzuka today. “Everything seemed to be playing our way at the start but then the safety car was deployed,” explained the Brazilian. “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.”
Chief operations engineer Mark Gillan explained that, actually, the most serious problem Williams faced today for simple lack of pace. “We split the strategy today with Rubens starting on the option tyre on a three stop and Pastor on a two stop on primes,” he explained. “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.”