Malaysian Grand Prix Qualifying – Williams
AT&T Williams underperformed in qualifying today as the FW33’s competitive edge seen earlier in the weekend failed to materialise during this afternoon’s session. Rubens Barrichello made it into Q2; his ultimate lap time of 1:37.496 set on the option tyre places him in P15 for tomorrow’s race. Pastor Maldonado will start from 18th on the grid for his first F1 experience in Sepang. For a race that regularly yields a lottery of a result dictated by the region’s unpredictable weather, both drivers enter tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix armed with new tyres and a car at its optimum in race conditions.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
That certainly wasn’t the qualifying session we were aiming for, but we struggled to get more out of the FW33 today. Tomorrow’s race will be interesting, whether that’s due to potentially wet weather or the number of pitstops made in the dry. Our focus is to score points.
We don’t seem to have the pace we need in qualifying. We were stronger in Melbourne and so we need to analyse why and see where we are in the race. All things considered, my lap was ok, in fact it was probably one of my best laps around Malaysia but it wasn’t good enough to counteract the performance of the car today. Whether we get rain or a steady run in a dry race we’ll be going for points.
That was a difficult session and we definitely didn’t expect to be out in Q1. The car wasn’t feeling as good as it was this morning. I had a bit of traffic as well so I didn’t get a clean lap. We have a lot of tyres now for tomorrow and the car goes better on long runs than it does in qualifying. With a good strategy who knows what will happen. There’s no reason why we can’t get into the points.