Sam Michael: Maldonado Crash in Monte Carlo ‘A Racing Incident’

Williams technical director Sam Michael has described the collision between Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado at Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix as a racing incident, and said that getting the first points of the season was a ‘good result’ for the whole team as he reflected on their weekend in Monte Carlo.

Rubens Barrichello came home  in ninth place to score two points but Maldonado was heading for a good sixth place before he and Hamilton came together at Ste Devote, just five laps from the chequered flag.

“It was great for everyone involved to get some points on the board and we must thank Rubens for bringing home our first of the season,” said Michael. “It was however, somewhat bittersweet because Pastor was looking good for a big points haul.

“Rubens as well was perhaps looking good for an even better result but the first safety car came out and damaged his position significantly. You can see this from the number of cars that were running behind him that ended up in the top five after the safety car. Monaco is normally a lottery in that respect so to come away with some points is a good result for the whole team.

When asked about Maldonado’s race-ending accident, Michael simply said: “It was a racing incident.” He praised the Venezuelan and his engineers for their efforts over the weekend.

“[Maldonado’s] performance was nothing short of excellent,” said Michael. “His two engineers Xevi Pujolar and Andrew Murdoch also did a great job. Their efforts really helped us make the right tyre and strategy decisions and Pastor pushed hard in the race when it mattered.”

The performance of the FW33 had appeared to be lacking so far this season, but Michael said that he was happy with the pace in Monaco: “The FW33 was performing well,” he said. “In the race, I was particularly impressed at the speed we had on the same age of tyres as the top cars. For sure there is still a lot of work to do but we are heading in the right direction.”

And Michael is also confident of having good pace at the next race in Canada. “Every circuit has been different this year, but with the improvements we have coming to the FW33 next weekend we should be competitive,” he said.