Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer for Williams Martini Racing, says the team doesn’t completely understand why they struggled so much in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Drivers Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll qualified in eighteenth and twentieth respectively, setting times over three seconds off Sebastian Vettel‘s pole time and nearly four tenths slower than seventeenth-placed Marcus Ericsson‘s Sauber.
This is far below the team’s performance in the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix, when then-drivers Felipe Massa and Stroll qualified eighth and twelfth respectively.
Stroll spent much of the first qualifying session in the “danger zone” and on his final attempt at getting into the second session he was behind Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team driver Charles Leclerc. Unfortunately for Stroll, and the Williams team, the Monégasque driver span at the final corner – causing a yellow flag in front of Stroll, and sealing his fate as the last-place man.
The reasons for the lack of speed, says Lowe, isn’t completely clear, as the team don’t understand why they lacked so much pace.
“That’s not where we want to be starting the race but we weren’t quick enough today for a number of reasons, some of them we understand, some of them we don’t. We need to go away and do some more work.”
Commenting on the team’s chances in the race, Lowe said that the team will see what can be done, though admits it will be a struggle from their starting position.
“The race will be difficult from these grid positions but as always we’ll do our very best as a team to see what we can achieve tomorrow.“