Williams continue to insist that they are heading in the right direction after their best qualifying performance of 2011 in Monaco today.
Pastor Maldonado qualified ninth and Rubens Barrichello was twelfth in a session interrupted by a big accident for Sauber driver Sergio Perez, who suffered concussion and a sprained thigh in the incident.
Obviously our first thoughts are with Sergio Perez and the whole team wishes him a quick recovery,” said technical director Sam Michael. “Pastor did well to qualify in the top ten again today. Two races in a row shows strong progress. Monaco requires a car with good mechanical balance, maximum downforce and plenty of concentration from the drivers. We have work to do but we’re heading in that direction.”
Maldonado was clearly happy with his qualifying performance, and hopes to build on this in tomorrow’s race. “I'm happy!” said the Venezuelan. “We were consistent in Q1 and Q2 and I made it into Q3. It was very tight at the end of the session because of the red flag; we had just over two minutes to do our lap, so I'm pleased with ninth. We've been competitive throughout the weekend and we squeezed 100% out of our package again today. Our pace is strong and I will do my best to get us into the points tomorrow. I hope Sergio is ok and wish him well.”
Rubens Barrichello complained that his car was not performing as expected, but is hoping that a good strategy tomorrow can propel him up the field.
“The car felt ok but it seemed quicker on older tyres,” he said. “When I went onto new tyres I didn't get the grip I was expecting. That was the difference today and I'm a few tenths behind. It was strange and we need to understand why that was the case. I need the car to stick to the ground as much as possible. That is what I am looking for. Strategies are going to play a big part tomorrow. We all hope Sergio is ok.”