Williams strongly denied claims from driver Pastor Maldonado that his car had been tampered with after his ejection from qualifying in Q1.
Maldonado took 18th on the grid and will start nine place behind team mate Valtteri Bottas, who reached Q3.
“It was quite a hard beginning of the weekend,” Maldonado told Sky. “Yesterday, even this morning, in quali even worse. I think I never got the hundred percent form the tyres.”
“I think in my car somebody is playing with the pressure, temperature, is not that clear. But, yeah, one more race to go so, great.”
Asked what was wrong with his car Maldonado said: “It’s difficult to say. I think you need to ask the team, to the guys who are working in the car. It’s quite clear.”
Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams refuted Maldonado’s claims, saying: “Never in Williams, in our experience and our history, would we ever do anything like that.”
“I think qualifying’s always a big adrenaline rush for drivers,” she added. “I’m not surprised by that but people say things after these kind of situations.”
“We have to go back, we’ll go and talk to the engineers and see what happened.”
Maldonado confirmed earlier this weekend he is leaving the team of his own choosing after a poor season in which he scored their only point so far.
“Within the team, when we’re behind closed doors, it’s not acrimonious,” said Williams. “Not that kind of atmosphere within the team.”
“As I said after qualifying people can get emotional and that’s fine. But I don’t see any kind of issue. Pastor, he has said he wants to go to another team and that’s completely fine, drivers do that, this is Formula One it’s the nature of our business.”
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Image ?é?® Williams/LAT