Williams endured a tough Saturday in Bahrain as Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado could qualify only fifteenth and seventeenth at the Sakhir Circuit.
Maldonado will actually start the race from P22, owing to a five-place grid penalty handed to the Venezuelan for a gearbox change.
Senna did not mention any specific problems that he had during qualifying today, citing only the competitiveness of the midfield.
“It was really difficult today,” said the Brazilian. “Once again, a few tenths of a second make a big difference in grid position.
“It's going to be a big challenge tomorrow but I think we can have a good race from where we are. I feel I got as much out of the car as possible today but we can be stronger tomorrow.”
Maldonado, on the other hand, had a problem with KERS today that prevented him from running in Q2. He is now expecting to be spending most of the race tomorrow fighting his way through the field.
“The car felt car felt quick this morning, so it's a shame that we had a KERS problem which meant we couldn't run in Q2,” he said. “It's going to be a tough race tomorrow with the added grid penalty, as well as it being a difficult track. We need to attack from the start and get our strategy right, but our pace looked good on race simulations so I'm looking forward to the challenge.”
Williams Chief Operations Engineer Mark Gillan summarised the team’s qualifying problems. “We have had a relatively tough day today with Pastor experiencing a KERs problem in qualifying which forced us to pit his car and take no further part in the session,” he said. “This was particularly disappointing as Pastor felt that his car balance was good.
“Bruno continued to improve throughout qualifying, finishing in P15 in what is a tight grid. We now need to concentrate on tomorrow and hope to use our better race pace to potentially make our way up into the points.