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Formula 1

Williams leave Monaco empty handed after mechanical failures

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Both Williams drivers were responsible for a safety car period each in Monaco today after race-ending accidents.

Nico Hulkenberg’s was the first FW32 to fail. A clutch paddle problem at the start of the formation lap dropped the young German right to the back of the field, and a component failure on his front wing caused Hulkenberg to crash in the tunnel on the opening lap.

“I'm then not entirely sure what happened in the tunnel, said Hulkenberg. The car felt odd one minute and the next I was in the wall. I am really disappointed not to have completed the race and get the mileage under my belt, but that's life.”
Rubens Barrichello had a much better start than his teammate, climbing from ninth on the grid up to sixth in the opening corners. A problem on the rear of the car led to a dramatic clash with the barriers on Lap 30, and the Brazilian’s race was over.
“What happened today was a real surprise,” said Barrichello. “I had such a good start but the car started to feel really strange after the pitstop. The steering wheel, in particular, didn't feel normal. The problem continued to get worse
and then I crashed. We now have to investigate the car to find out what the problem was.”
Technical director Sam Michael was understandably disappointed with the failures on a day were Williams could have scored good points: “That was not a good day for the team after a promising start for Rubens. [He] had a fantastic start and was running in sixth when he started to experience poor handling after his stop. 11 laps after his pitstop, he had a failure at the rear end of his car.
“We need to get all the parts back to the factory in order to identify correctly what components on both cars caused the failures. We have quite a bit of car damage to repair, but we’re making progress with performance and look to further that in Istanbul.”
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