Despite high hopes of points after yesterday’s qualifying session, Williams leave Singapore empty-handed tonight after Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello finished the grand prix in eleventh and thirteenth place respectively.
For technical director Sam Michael, today marked his last race with the team before he heads to McLaren for next season. He said that the pace of the FW33s was just not good enough to compete for points, and wished the team all the best for the future.
“We tried a couple of different things on strategy between the two cars but today we didn't have enough pace to get into the points,” said Michael. “Both the drivers probably got the best out of the car they could. It was a tough race but both FW33s came home with no reliability issues. As that was my last Grand Prix for AT&T Williams, I would like to thank everyone on the race team and at the factory for the last 11 years and to wish them all the best for a bright future.”
Maldonado said that the tyre wear today was particularly disappointing but, overall, actually sounded reasonably pleased with eleventh place at his first Singapore Grand Prix.
“The car had quite a lot of oversteer throughout the race, particularly in the first stint,” he explained. “We tried everything to get rid of it to save the rear tyres but the wear rate forced us to pit early. It didn't make that much of a difference to our strategy though and it actually worked out well in the end. I managed to get into a good rhythm, especially in the second half when I was able to follow Massa quite consistently. I think the team did well and I'm pleased too because it's my first time racing in Singapore.”
Barrichello also cited tyre wear as the problem today, and bemoaned the lack of pace of his Williams. “We said at the beginning that the tyres would have a hard time,” said the Brazilian. “With the safety car deployed when it was, the only option was to stay out to have a chance of scoring points. It was a tough call to do that many laps on the same tyre – and when Massa came up behind me there was nothing I could do. We gave it a go, but it didn't pay off for us today.”