Sergey Sirotkin believes Williams Martini Racing focused too much on gaining the perfect slipstream during qualifying for the 2018 Italian Grand Prix, a decision that ultimately cost the Russian time.
While Williams made it into Q3 for the first time this season with Lance Stroll, Sirotkin’s lap time of 1:21.732 was only good enough for twelfth. The Russian rookie has blamed Monza’s famous slipstreaming for affecting the car’s balance and pace.
“It wasn’t the best session for me personally,” said Sirotkin. “The performance we had yesterday was a lot more promising than today. It’s been all about slipstreams and how you get them, which car you’re behind and how much of a gap you leave to them in front.
“I think when you concentrate so much on this it can affect the car balance and how it’s performing at different parts of the track. I think we lost a bit of the base performance and honestly, I think we lost a lot more time.
“In my last run, the slipstream I got wasn’t optimal. It was a pure time loss in some areas and I was getting a different corner balance, so the car was here, there and everywhere. It was a tough session and I’m not too happy.”
Sirotkin remains the only driver on the 2018 grid yet to score points.