Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying – AT&T Williams
It was a challenging day for the team at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit today. During practice earlier this afternoon, the team detected an oil leak on Rubens Barrichello’s car which sidelined him for the second half of the session. Despite the team’s efforts, a resolution to the issue was not found in time for qualifying forcing Rubens to sit out the session. With no time on the board, Rubens will start tomorrow’s race from 23rd place. Pastor Maldonado classified 17th but has to serve a ten place grid penalty for using a ninth engine which drops him to 24th on the grid.
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer:
That was obviously a very disappointing day for Rubens having had an engine issue disrupt his P3 running and then stop him setting a lap in qualifying. Pastor made his way into Q2 but will take a grid penalty due to having a ninth engine fitted at the start of the weekend. Both drivers therefore start from the back but we look forward to seeing them attack in the race.
It’s a long race here and we need to come up with a strong strategy to get a positive result from 23rd. We’ve obviously been thinking about our strategy all weekend because we’ve known about the grid penalty for a while now. We haven’t decided 100% and we’ll keep working on it tonight to make sure we give ourselves the best possible chance. I will do my best and I know the team will too. We must be confident.
The team tried everything to fix the problem that we had this morning. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to and I couldn’t go out in qualifying. I fully support the team and know we will come through this smiling.