Williams Martini Racing failed to realise their potential in qualifying today at Sepang ahead of the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix as they qualified in 13th and 15th in a wet session.
While the car has been fast in the dry, the team struggled with rear grip in the wet conditions, “In dry conditions we are normally fighting for a top six position and the car feels good, but when it is wet the car lacks grip and can feel unstable with lots of sliding which is something we need to address.” explained Felipe Massa.
Chief Test & Support Engineer Rod Nelson said“The car is clearly struggling in wet conditions compared to the competitive pace it has been showing in the dry, so this is something we will be analysing closely.”
Massa managed to fight the Williams in to Q2 but felt things could have gone a lot better. “It’s a shame as this qualifying result is not really reflective of where we should be.”
The good thing is that the cars seem to be very close in terms of lap time so that will help us overtake tomorrow, and I’m hoping that we have very different weather conditions as the car feels completely different in the dry.
Team-mate Valterri Bottas endured a tough session for him and could only manage 15th place. “The more water there was on track the more we struggled with the rear grip of the car” said Bottas.
“We tried both the intermediates and the wets but we just couldn’t get the grip we needed from either tyre. The wet conditions highlight where our weaknesses are, so we have a clear direction for where we need to improve the car. I still think we have a chance of fighting for some points though if we have a dry race.
Nelson will be hoping for a dry race but admits the team have prepared for changeable conditions. “The conditions here in Malaysia are so changeable that we will have to prepare for the possibility of rain again tomorrow, but obviously drier conditions will be beneficial in allowing us to make our way through the pack in a similar vein to what we managed to do in Australia.”