Korea “most disappointing race” this year for Williams

2012 Korean Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Korea International Circuit, 2012Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan said the Korean Grand Prix was the most disappointing race so far this year for the team.

“We were simply not quick enough this weekend with both drivers hampered by inconsistent car handling issues,” said Gillan.

“This has probably been our most disappointing race of the season in that both cars had decent race starts and had no contact issues during the race but we were clearly too far off the pace to challenge for point,” he added.

“We do understand why we struggled this weekend and need to address the balance consistency problem that hampered the drivers’ performance.”

Tyre debris was a cause for concern for both drivers, according to Gillan: “Both front wings had a lot of tyre debris excrescence after the race and this hampers their performance.

“During the race Bruno [Senna] also picked up some debris in the front wing which was once again likely to be tyre marbles, but thankfully it cleared itself prior to the pit stop.”

However he praised Pastor Maldonado who was one of only two drivers in the field to complete the race making a single pit stop:

“A one-stop strategy was marginal for the tyres and in particular the front right hand side tyre. Having said that, Pastor has excellent tyre management skills and was able to make the one-stop work.”

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23 comments on Korea “most disappointing race” this year for Williams

  1. Alfie (@alfie) said on 16th October 2012, 16:40

    I would’ve said Monaco was..

  2. dot_com (@dot_com) said on 16th October 2012, 16:44

    5 points for using the word “excrescence” in a sentence.

  3. Well…usually when Maldonado crashed, Senna was there to put the car in 10th or 11th at least and when Senna had a poor weekend, generaly Maldonado compensated at least proving the car is worth something before being put nose-first into a Sauber or a McLaren. This time however, both their drivers performed above-average as the car looked as slow as last year.

    But, I still think what Gillian should have said is that this was the worst race out of a series of bad to very bad ones.

    • dot_com (@dot_com) said on 16th October 2012, 18:24

      Ultimately a really frustrating season for Williams. They’ve had a great car with tons of potential, and really squandered their chance to be up there with Merc in the Constructors battle. When the car is fast, they have poor reliability or bad driver decisions (aka crashes). This weekend, they both kept their noses clean and the car was reliable, but the pace was abysmal. I’m hoping we can sneak back onto the podium at least once more this year.

      • RIISE (@riise) said on 16th October 2012, 18:51

        I’m really struggling to take this comment seriously.

        • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 17th October 2012, 0:35

          Why? It seems fair enough to me.
          The Williams has been a race winning/podium potential car at quite a few events (Barcelona, Valencia, Singapore and likely others I’ve forgot) but barring Barcelona something has gone wrong in all of them, whether it be Senna ridiculously off Maldonado’s pace, Maldonado crashing or car failures.]
          They certainly have had the potential to be above Sauber if not Mercedes. I think Williams are top candidates for the most disappointing season considering where they should have been and where they are.

          • I think Williams are top candidates for the most disappointing season considering where they should have been and where they are.

            Bingo!

          • Fernando Cruz said on 17th October 2012, 14:36

            Senna ridiculously off Maldonado’s pace was only seen in qualifying, in a year we also saw Button ridiculously off Hamilton’s pace. In both cases it was a problem related to the performance window of this year’s tyres, hurting drivers with a particularly smooth driving style. Being much more experienced and having the full support of a Top Team Button sorted out his problems quicker than Senna, which is understandable. Futher more Senna loses FP1 almost everywhere and that doesn’ t help him either. But he can be much quicker in qualifying, he showed it in GP2 and last year with Lotus. In races Senna is as quick as a Maldonado or a Grosjean and sometimes even quicker. In Suzuka he was one of the quickest drivers during the race and managed a brilliant passing move on Grosjean in 130R.

            If he can do a second year with Williams I’m sure he will improve a lot in qualifying pace, just like Maldonado improved in his second year in the team in terms of pace. I have no doubt that he (Bruno) has the potential to become a driver as good as a Button or a Rosberg if he has the opportunity to develop himself in F1 in proper conditions, without losing FP1 almost everywhere and more adapted to the performance window of the tyres.

    • Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 16th October 2012, 21:25

      Yeah, what happened in Singapore to Senna’s car was pretty awful too, I think. He dragged it from P22 to as high as P9, then lost KERS, then the whole thing died on him with 60 seconds to go (and potentially could’ve given him a nasty electric shock on the way out). Does it get much worse than that?

      • That’s exactly what I was thinking after I posted this earlier. “Wait a second mr. Gillian, isn’t a double DNF actually worse than P14 and P15?!”.

      • dot_com (@dot_com) said on 17th October 2012, 1:46

        That was probably Bruno’s most impressive drive of the year. Massive shame he lost it all right at the end. Another example of the Williams having potentially front-running pace and coming home empty-handed.

        • Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 17th October 2012, 2:10

          One of his best, maybe, but his coming from P24 to P6 in the wet in Malaysia this year is still my personal favorite. China and Hungary were also great. I loved his last lap pass on Hulkenberg in Silverstone as well.

          • dot_com (@dot_com) said on 17th October 2012, 13:39

            @leucocrystal – I’d forgotten about the Silverstone pass. He has had some very good drives this year – quali seems to be letting him down, and the rest of the weekend suffers as a result. Where do you think he’ll be next year?

          • Fernando Cruz said on 17th October 2012, 15:07

            His passes on Perez in Hungaroring and on Grosjean in Suzuka were also great. He also showed great race pace in Suzuka and did the fastest lap in Spa.

            When he improves his qualifying he will be much stronger and complete as a driver and I’ m sure he can improve it. The problem is that he has to show it this year so that he can have more chances to keep his seat. With Williams current form and losing FP1 he can have no chance to show what he can do and chances are that he keeps being eliminated in Q1 more often that not for the coming races. So the risk of him not achieving his potential is really huge. But he completely deserves to be in F1 and I hope he stays for next year. If he can’ t keep his seat in Williams he may have to step back to a Caterham.

          • Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 17th October 2012, 21:56

            @dot_com Qualifying is definitely his problem area, which is interesting, because last season he was definitely stronger in qualifying, but it’s been much more satisfying watching him improve his racecraft and his starts so much this year, at least for me. As Fernando mentioned above me, he’s had some other fantastic passes recently and his first fastest lap as well. He’s probably right though that thanks to the unique unfairness of the FP1 situation at Williams (and the fact that Toto Wolff funds Valtteri Bottas), it’s probably not going to matter what he does for the rest of the season, and he may very well be left nowhere to go but back to Caterham. Which would be unfortunate to be sure, but it may be his only choice.

  4. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 16th October 2012, 21:29

    Yeah, like the rest of the season has been that great except from Spain…

    • RAMBO said on 17th October 2012, 12:43

      They could have scored a podium in Valencia, could have had sixth in Melbourne, could have had fourth in Singapore but they al lost those because of failures and crashes. Not to mention that if Senna would have been anywhere near the pace of Maldonado they would have had a lot more points as well, so yes, there season was (compared to the last few) great.

  5. Goran (@goran507) said on 17th October 2012, 2:43

    Shame Williams Performance is fading, I am stilll keeping my fingers crossed for a potential good result in the last 4 races…….hopefully a dream podium especially for Bruno.

    Bruno defo needs a massive result, to keep himself any chance of staying in F1 next year….let alone staying in Williams.

    Looks like Williams will take Bottas next year, amid Bruno’s struggle this year.
    Guess Bruno’s best chance to stay in F1 will be Caterham…….or HRT…………..

  6. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 17th October 2012, 12:12

    This Williams Partner Day at Silverstone looks quite cool – lots of pics on Twitter of Senna and Maldonado in old cars, and Susie Wolff and, presumably, Luciano Bacheta getting a go in last year’s car (with a Renault engine in it, judging by the stickers)

    Alarming caption on the photo of Senna in the FW08:
    The first spin of the day. @BSenna takes the FW08 for its install lap

    Not that kind of spin, thankfully, although he seems to have knocked the front wing off it…

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