A year after taking a surprise win Williams were left disappointed after qualifying at Barcelona today, with neither Pastor Maldonado nor Valtteri Bottas being able to progress into Q2.
Due to a penalty for Esteban Gutierrez, Bottas and Maldonado line up sixteenth and seventeenth place respectively for the race tomorrow.
Bottas was at least pleased to out qualify his more experienced team mate.
“Unfortunately the result from today shows where we are compared to others, but I still think we’ve made a step forward and we’re heading in the right direction. It seems everyone else has improved as well which means we are in similar position to the first four races,”
“Hopefully we can keep making the same steps race-by-race. We will try our best tomorrow and I still think we can climb up the grid as our race pace looks good,” he said.
Last year’s winner, Pastor Maldonado, was similarly downbeat.
“We’re having a difficult time with the car at the moment, but we have been working very hard to improve things. We were missing a lot of grip which made it difficult to get a good time today. In terms of performance, we’re not there but we will keep focussing on the work needed to move us up the grid,” the Venezuelan said.
“After winning here last year, to go out in Q1 is really disappointing for us. On such a close grid, in which Valtteri only missed out on Q2 by half a tenth, we need to be making bigger steps forward than those around us if we want to be able to show any improvement in results,” Mike Coughlan, the team’s technical director, added.
“Our race pace is more competitive than what we have shown today so we still aim to fight for points in tomorrow’s race, but everyone at Williams, both here and at the factory, knows that there is a great deal of work to do in order for us to move forward this season.”