Williams failed to fulfil their post-qualifying aims of points finishes after both Rubens Barichello and Nico Hulkenberg required unscheduled pit stops to repair damages sustained in racing incidents.
On a day in which tyre management proved so vital, Williams split strategies from the beginning of the race, with Barrichello using the option (softer) compound off the grid, and Hulkenberg the prime.
“We were there today with our pace to bank some points, but it became a very busy race,” explained Barrichello, who finished the race fourteenth. “I had a problem on the grid, so I had to make up some places. I passed Alguersuari, but he came across me to cover his line too late as I was already there. He hit me with a big, 2g impact.
“The damage blocked my front left brake duct and when the temperatures climbed, I lost the pedal and had to let cars by until I could pit. Even after the stop, it took three laps for the brake pedal to come back, so the incident really destroyed our race and it is frustrating for the whole team as we certainly had a car capable of a good finish today.”
Hulkenberg finished the race one position higher than his teammate, but also had his fair share of issues throughout the race. “Although the race started well – I was up to p8 on the first lap – the rest of my afternoon didn't go as well,” explained the German. “The first problem occurred when I was fighting with Sutil and I damaged my front wing, which meant that I had to make an unscheduled stop on lap 6.
“Unfortunately on my second stop I broke the speed limit, which meant a drive-through penalty. All of these incidents cost a lot of time and we didn't achieve a points finish which was clearly possible today.
“In summary, I think we had a much-improved car here and I am sorry that I did not manage to capitalise on all the hard work the team put in this weekend.”
Williams Technical Director Sam Michael explained the multitude of issues that hampered the team in today’s race, which ultimately cost them points:
“We had lots of issues during the race today. On Rubens car, we had an anti-stall at the race start, from which he made a reasonable recovery; however he then lost some positions at turn 2 because of an accident in front of him. Shortly after his first pit stop for prime tyres, he came together with another car and had to pit again for a front wing change.
“Nico had a good first lap, then ran into the back of another car on lap 6, forcing him to pit for a spare front wing. He made reasonable progress then, but had to take a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit lane.”