Williams: first points of 2011 “bittersweet”

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Monaco, 2011

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Monaco, 2011

Williams technical director Sam Michael described the team’s first points of 2011 as “bittersweet” following Pastor Maldonado’s late exit from the race.

However Michael described the collision with Lewis Hamilton that caused Maldonado’s retirement from sixth place as “a racing incident”.

Here is a Q&A with Michael issued by Williams:

Q: AT&T Williams scored its first points of 2011 at Monaco. How much of a relief was that to you and the team?
SM: It was great for everyone involved to get some points on the board and we must thank Rubens for bringing home our first of the season.

It was however, somewhat bittersweet because Pastor was looking good for a big points haul. Rubens as well was perhaps looking good for an even better result but the first safety car came out and damaged his position significantly.

You can see this from the number of cars that were running behind him that ended up in the top five after the safety car. Monaco is normally a lottery in that respect so to come away with some points is a good result for the whole team.

Q: Were you pleased with the pace of the FW33 through the streets of the Principality?
SM: Yes, the FW33 was performing well. In the race, I was particularly impressed at the speed we had on the same age of tyres as the top cars. For sure there is still a lot of work to do but we are heading in the right direction.

Q: How would you sum up the performance of Pastor Maldonado, who qualified in the top 10 for the second consecutive race and looked set for his first F1 points?
SM: His performance was nothing short of excellent. His two engineers Xevi Pujolar and Andrew Murdoch also did a great job. Their efforts really helped us make the right tyre and strategy decisions and Pastor pushed hard in the race when it mattered.

Q: What is your view on Pastor?s race-ending accident with Lewis Hamilton?
SM: It was a racing incident.

Q: Pirelli used its super-soft tyre for the first time this year. How did it hold up in the race?
SM: The wear life wasn?t as strong as we predicted from practice, but it was still good in the race. It would have been marginal for a one stop without the safety cars, so it looks like a two stop strategy was optimum.

Q: The next race on the calendar is Montreal. What are your hopes for the FW33 on such a low downforce track?
SM: Every circuit has been different this year, but with the improvements we have coming to the FW33 next weekend we should be competitive.

Q: There will be two DRS zones at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Do you expect the DRS to be effective in low downforce trim?
SM: Most definitely. I think the way the FIA are controlling the DRS is perfect. Charlie Whiting is evaluating it race by race and adjusting it to suit each circuit.

Read the full review of Williams’ weekend here:

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

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36 comments on Williams: first points of 2011 “bittersweet”

  1. Bernard (@bernard) said on 31st May 2011, 15:06

    Q: What is your view on Pastor’s race-ending accident with Lewis Hamilton?
    SM: It was a racing incident.

    Bingo! :)

    • ledzep4pm (@ledzep4pm) said on 31st May 2011, 15:51

      Don’t know who made these but they are brilliant (got the links of joe saward.

      http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/8572/hamiltonmonaco2011t1.jpg

      http://img857.imageshack.us/img857/3797/hamiltonmonacoturn1b.jpg

      Sum it all up very well

      • Bernard (@bernard) said on 31st May 2011, 16:01

        That’ll be me! Glad you like them.

        I think it sums up that there are ways of interpreting the rules on behalf of both sides of coin. In such situations common sense screams ‘racing incident’.

        • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 31st May 2011, 17:02

          excellent analysis! I’d love it if you did these more often when these sorts of accidents happen during passes. It gives a better perspective on the incident.

        • Skett said on 31st May 2011, 19:51

          It all seems a little silly. One car was on the racing line and ahead on the track, they have the right to turn in. Just because Schumacher was wise enough not to does not mean that the accident with Maldonado was Maldonado’s fault. Hamilton was behind and off line, he has to accept responsibility for this one, as he would have done if Schumacher had turned in. Lets face it, if you call if 50/50 then Maldonado was punished enough already!

      • slr said on 31st May 2011, 16:14

        The top two photos in the second post aren’t very good. Maldonado and Hamilton are closer to Sainte Devote, in comparison to Schumacher and Hamilton.

        • slr said on 31st May 2011, 16:15

          I meant to say Schumacher and Hamilton are closer to turn 1.

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 1st June 2011, 6:05

            That wasn’t the issue, the issue was that Pastor turned in to soon. If you look at the sponsor adds to the right for both Pastor and Shumi you’ll see that Shumi turned in later than Pastor did. Hamilton said that pastor turned in a few car lengths in advance than a regular driver would have.

          • Mike said on 1st June 2011, 8:52

            To be honest all the photos do is convince me Hamilton was indeed in the wrong.

      • djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 31st May 2011, 16:17

        Like like like.

        Anybody done similar for the Massa incident. Bloody stewards!

      • nick said on 31st May 2011, 18:29

        HRt is not rerference he is letting other cars pass
        and Micheal and Maldonado images are not exactly at the same place

      • james_mc said on 31st May 2011, 22:45

        For me the difference between (Hamilton and Schumacher) and (Massa and Maldonano) [brackets to separate], is that the former pair know what it is like to put their car in that compromising let-me-pass-or-crash position so understand the “rules” i.e. MOVE!!! While some may say this is unfair, at tracks such as Monaco, it is the only way and unless you’re going to DRS them on the straight, likely the only way you’ll get past elsewhere. Senna did it too.

        Oh and there’s one blinding difference between Schumacher and Hamilton and the other two – there are two world champions in that group of 4….

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 31st May 2011, 16:07

      Yeah, good to see Sam Michael is a racer. I hope he ends up in a nice spot next year.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 31st May 2011, 20:41

      So then Sam, it wasn’t a racing incident, was it? ;)

      • wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 1st June 2011, 2:53

        @ ledzep4pm
        Nice work.The experience of Schumacher avoided the incident between where Maldanado ( I am not blaming him) didn’t realize that Hamilton will make a bet.

  2. timi said on 31st May 2011, 18:01

    this article’s been up for a few hours and only 9 comments?!
    i guess the hamilton haters are dissapointed sam michael refers to it as a racing incident. awww

    • phildick (@phildick) said on 31st May 2011, 18:16

      Well though not really a hater I’m not disappointed, just trying to stop myself from hopelessly trying to persuade die-hards that attempting to kill other cars with your car and squeezing in where there’s no room to squeeze is not the way to become an F1 champion. Nor are ugly ‘jokes’.

      And if many call Vettel just lucky so what about causing two racing incidents (one high-speed) in Monaco, having a badly damaged rear wing and still making it in the points?

    • Ral said on 31st May 2011, 18:17

      Au contraire. I think, unlike Hamilton, Sam Michaels has had time to reflect and prepare for this question and has given the politically least offensive answer. Because he’s essentially looking for a job, you know.

      Anyway, I’m not a Hamilton hater. I just think he let his frustration get the better of him on race day and I do hope he doesn’t change his racing style because he is still by far one of the best overtakers driving at the moment.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 1st June 2011, 14:19

      I clearly saw Maldonado was turning early to defend himself, but he was on the racing line and didn’t turn in the middle of the straight (which would have been obviously his fault). Maldonado was too keen on those points to accept fewer.

  3. SupaSix-1 said on 31st May 2011, 20:33

    Justice!!
    dont think the anti-hamilton fans can say much in response considering that it was Sam Michael himself calling it a ‘racing incident’.

    The massa incident is definately worth doing a photo-analysis on – that incident to me definately looked like some dirty driving by massa – Massa opened the door and then when it was too late massa cut his line much earlier than he wouldve & slammed the door shut when Lewis had nowhere else to go as we can very clearly see from the aerial view – thats why he ended up pranging into webber.

    But then justice truely prevailed when Lewis left massa in a right ‘tizzy in the tunnel’ – loved it!

    I urge anyone who hasnt seen the aerial shot of the massa incident to watch it.

    I think Lewis deserves an apology from a few people.

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 31st May 2011, 20:42

    It’s all a bit bitter-sweet for Sam Michael is it not?

    He summed up Williams’ weekend rather well.

  5. Nikos said on 31st May 2011, 20:49

    I don’t really care about the accident. I really care abour Rubens and his excellent drive on this race. He should be in the top 5 if no safety car involved.

  6. mattr said on 31st May 2011, 21:18

    Sam Michael sais it was a racing incident and some ppl still can’t accept it.they think he’s telling porkies for PR reasons.but why?i mean he still could have blamed lewis in a polite way.
    he’s obviously seen what happened in more detail,and has called it right.

  7. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 31st May 2011, 23:14

    It’s shame for such a likeable team the technical director is so robotic and dull in his answers. I suppose that’s a good thing to come out of replacing Michael, he’s even worse than Whitmarsh, ha!

  8. Malibu_GP said on 1st June 2011, 1:08

    Ya see, I do believe SM knows better than We…, or most of You all actually.

  9. Malibu_GP said on 1st June 2011, 1:12

    * correction* I meant most of the negative Folks, of which there seem to be very few of here presently.

  10. Lord Ha Ha said on 1st June 2011, 1:42

    nobody noticed the blond that Hamilton moved in close to be photographed with ahead of the race, or the regular squeeze that was there for the race and went out in the stilettos onto the grid during the red flag. That didn’t seem to do much to settle him down Martin …

  11. The Last Pope said on 1st June 2011, 2:25

    Hulkenburg would have finished 5th.

    • Seeing you seem to be so good at predicting all the results, how come you didn’t win the predictions this round?

      • Patrickl said on 1st June 2011, 16:03

        Hulkenberg isn’t racing.

        • you don’t say?

          my comment still stands. If he’s so good at predicting where Hulk would have come, surely it must be easy for him to predict where the current drivers would place.

          Fact is, as you say, Hulk isn’t racing. So its absolutely impossible to say where he would have come, and it’s absolutely pointless to speculate. He stuck it in the wall last year all by himself, at least Maldonado got dive bombed.

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