Melbourne, March 15th, 2013 (F1plus/J. Polychornis).- Williams driver, Pastor Maldonado, has explained how the team is “surprised” by their lack of performance during both Friday practice sessions.
Both Williams drivers, Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas, completed Friday’s sessions without any real issue. Their performance was lacklustre though, which has left the Williams garage with many questions to ponder. In FP1 and 2, Maldonado placed in 14th and 16th, while Bottas came in 15th and 18th. Williams’ fastest time for the day was by the Venezuelan who posted a 1:28:852 in FP2, 2.944 seconds off the fastest time of the day. Maldonado, speaking to f1plus.com after FP2, stated:
“We are a bit surprised by our performance here, but this is not the end. We need to work, and that’s it.”
In light of few changes to car regulations for 2013, there have been suggestions that mid-field teams, such as Williams, may close the gap to some of the front-runners. After failing to impress during the first task of the 2013 season, some may argue that those suggestions now exclude Williams. After being asked if the team may no longer have the chance to bridge the gap to those front teams, Maldonado replied:
“I think we were far away from the top guys today. We need to work very hard, try to understand our problems. The thing is, they [the problems] are clear. We just need to workaround [them] and very hard just to shorten it [the problems].”
Pre-season testing held promise for the British team, however, it would appear that winter testing was not an appropriate gauge. The warmer conditions of the early Australian autumn have not been kind to the team, creating a different feel in the car.
“For sure the car felt different [to the pre-season]. – I was never convinced [of the car’s performance].”
Teams have one more hour of practice on Saturday to collect further data on their cars. This time will be crucial for Williams in an attempt to field a competitive car at the first race of the season. The first qualifying session of the season gets underway on Saturday, 17.00 local time.