September 7th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - After delivering promising pace during final practice - Pastor Maldonado was ninth fastest in FP3 - Williams had a rough time in qualifying, where Valtteri Bottas was unable to find the pace to get through to Q2 and Maldonado ran out of time in Q2 after being stopped at the weighbridge.
For Maldonado, the weighbridge issue was simply unfortunate. The FIA can require any car to be weighed during Q1 or Q2. Cars are selected at random to check that they are in compliance with the regulations. In Q2 at Monza, Maldonado's car was selected to be weighed as he came in from his first run of the session. While the team does allow for the time it takes to go through the weighbridge, Maldonado lost more time than he expected and consequently had to shorten his final run in the session and was unable to deliver the performance he felt was in the car.
Maldonado said after qualifying: "We were penalised when we were stopped at the weighbridge during Q2 which meant we weren't able to complete the extra laps we had planned. Realistically we could have been nearer to the top ten as this morning we looked better. Even during qualifying the car still felt quite good but unfortunately that was all we could do today."
Maldonado has been moved one place up the grid as a result of a grid penalty for Adrian Sutil, who was found to have impeded Lewis Hamilton during qualifying. From 14th on the grid, Maldonado still has the chance to score points if his race goes well. He will no doubt have an interesting Sunday afternoon.
Valtteri Bottas had no excuses for his lack of performance. He said afterwards: "On my fastest laps on the option tyre in qualifying I had a good clean lap with no mistakes which I really thought would be enough to get through to Q2, but the lap time wasn't there. We need to look at the data tonight because it felt much better than what the time showed."
Bottas was nonetheless confident about his chances of a good result in the Italian Grand Prix. He said, "Our race pace looks good for tomorrow and there's plenty of opportunities to overtake so I still think that we can have a good race."