The AT&T Williams team managed a defensive strategy in Abu Dhabi today to secure sixth place in the constructors’ championship. Although neither Rubens Barrichello nor Nico Hulkenberg managed a points finish, the team ensured that their nearest rivals were behind them at the finish in order to cover any eventualities. The combination of an early Safety Car and a circuit character that limited passing opportunities meant that there were few options to affect the outcome of the race. The team extends its congratulations to the 2010 Formula One World Champion, Sebastian Vettel.
Our main goal today was to cover Force India and ensure our championship position, which we did. I had a better car than the results show, but we did the best we could with the strategy we followed. I had a really good battle with Sutil who ran long into the race, and he left his pit stop in front of me, but I dived past him on the outside of turn 4. It was a huge move, exhilarating and really the best part of a race that was pretty flat out, so in a way it was a surprise to finish so far back.
That was a difficult race. Strategy-wise, I started on the prime and did a long first stint and then a shorter one on the option but car pace wasn’t good so it didn’t work out for us. I lost position at the start, and then while avoiding the first lap incident, but I don’t think it made much of a difference to the overall picture.
Patrick Head, Director of Engineering:
To finish 12th and 16th from seventh and 15th is not something to be pleased about. Our race pace clearly doesn’t match our qualifying pace, so that’s something we need to improve over the winter for 2011. Ultimately, of the various goals for the weekend, the main one was to finish ahead of Force India and retain sixth in the championship, which we achieved. Thanks to the whole team for doing a good job over a long season and many congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull for tying up the drivers’ championship.
2010 Championship Standings: AT&T Williams 69 (6th), Barrichello 47 (10th), Hulkenberg 22 (14th)