Williams Martini Racing‘s Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe says the Australian Grand Prix was a weekend to forget for the team.
Lance Stroll and rookie Sergey Sirotkin struggled around the Albert Park Circuit, failing to capture any points from the opening round.
Sirotkin failed to finish his first race as an F1 driver, following a brake failure after a plastic bag reached into the brake duct, causing the brakes to fail and force the rookie to retire.
Lowe said that it was a shame for the Russian to retire, losing valuable miles for him to continue his learning behind a wheel of an F1 car.
“That wasn’t an afternoon to remember.” said Lowe.
“Firstly, for Sergey, very early in the race he had a failure of the rear brakes. Our provisional analysis is that a plastic bag has been collected on the circuit, completely blocking the brake cooling, so that the right rear corner caught fire and eventually failed the hydraulics circuit.
“His brake pedal went to the floor and he had to go down the escape lane.
“That was the end of his race which is very unfortunate because it was his first F1 race and what he really needed to do was get some distance behind him so he could come back for the second event with race experience our objective, which we didn’t achieve for him today.”
Stroll on the other hand was able to reach the end of the race, but down in fourteenth place and behind rookie Charles Leclerc.
Lowe said in terms of Stroll’s race, managing temperatures prevented them from making a pursuit on Leclerc for the position.
“In Lance’s case, we were struggling a lot with pace throughout the afternoon.” Lowe continued.
“Like a number of other teams, we’re managing fuel consumption. Our fight was for 13 th and unfortunately Lance lost the position to Leclerc under the safety car restart.
“He had a number of attempts to retake the position but with managing temperatures we had to drop back two or three times and we never made it stick.”