Two more retirements “not acceptable” at Williams

2011 Malaysian GP team review

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A frustrating start to 2011 continued at Williams as neither car finished again in Sepang.

Rubens BarrichelloPastor Maldonado
Qualifying position1518
Qualifying time comparison (Q1)1’38.163 (-0.113)1’38.276
Race position
Pit stops20

Williams drivers’ lap times throughout the race:

Rubens Barrichello118.865110.03171.696135.217108.949107.345106.083106.116106.1105.516107.056106.866106.752108.52107.6109.053116.058126.386105.706105.694105.953125.988
Pastor Maldonado120.256108.862108.662106.036105.689108.326107.825120.529
Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Sepang, 2011

Rubens Barrichello

Barrichello was disappointed after qualifying 15th, then picking up a puncture at the start of the race following contact with Adrian Sutil.

Barrichello had to drag his car around an entire lap before getting the tyre replaced. He dropped out with an hydraulic leak after just 22 laps. The team later discovered the problem was related to the lap he’d driven with a puncture.

He said: “This wasn’t the start of the season I was hoping for and we need to improve.

“Right now we don’t have a reliable car and we’re playing catch up, but the team back home are pushing hard to get things resolved and bring performance to the car”

Rubens Barrichello 2011 form guide

Pastor Maldonado

Maldonado was eliminated in Q1 but was not far off his team mate’s pace – if he’d found another tenth of a second he’d have knocked Barrichello out.

On the third lap his car developed a misfire and he had to retire.

Sam Michael said their performance was “well below expectations in many areas” and “not acceptable”.

He added: “We also have some promising improvements coming through for Shanghai and Istanbul and we need to see how these perform.” These include a new exhaust which Barrichello will run.

Pastor Maldonado 2011 form guide

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

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    Image © Williams/LAT

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    25 comments on “Two more retirements “not acceptable” at Williams”

    1. Let’s hope so. Williams are, together with Mercedes and Ferrari, the main team who have not made good on their pre-season form. But more worryingly for them, they’re the only team who’s made some dramatic design choices which don’t seem to have paid off.

      I’d love for them to find 1.5s suddenly and just jump right into the fray.

    2. At least it wasn’t the gearboxes this time.

      1. Yeah, but they have made a very bad start to the season.

    3. I was flicking through Wikipedia, this looks like Williams worst ever start to a season. Disappointing considering this is one of their most innovative cars in a long time. I’ve never been a huge fan of Williams but I don’t like seeing innovation go unrewarded, but well…that’s life.

    4. Maldonado has been very unlucky in the races so far. Barrichello has frankly been a mess, this will probably be his last season.

    5. Looks like its panning out to be bit of the same luck Sauber had last year. Lets hope for Williams they turn their season around in the coming races, just like Sauber did year.

    6. Same people at Williams for years and now another year which sadly looks to be no better than the previous ones.

    7. I’ve a funny feeling that “misfire” was a gearbox problem. Williams may have to abandon the concept.

      1. They can’t abandon it this season, it’s an integral part of the car design.

    8. Did I or did I not read a story in the not too distant past that FW passed up the offer of Seb doing a test in 1 of his cars, just before he signed for the RB driver pool? #:)

      1. Lucky thing for Seb if that’s true.

    9. It all looked so promising in testing, what a disastorous start. Weak pace, poor reliability, and driver errors. At least the strategy can’t criticized, by lap 10 it’s largely irrelevant.

      On the bright side it can only get better from here on out. It couldn’t possibly get worse, could it?

    10. Misfire? How does a modern engine with a common ECU misfire barring failure of the physical ignition hardware, wires and plugs, which seems bizarre.

      I really thought Williams would shock this year. Either that or be quick and unreliable, due to that wacky new gearbox.

      1. Sushi Meerkat
        11th April 2011, 18:49

        Looks like they are slow and unreliable.

      2. faulty ignition coil, car came into the pits running on 7 cylinders. cosworth looking into it

        1. Fuel can leak out of lines or even be blocked. I know I’ve had a car in my garage with a faulty fuel lines before. Just because there are electronics on the car doesn’t mean you can’t have a mechanical malfunction.

    11. I must say that despite Mercedes being off the pace, and Ferrari lagging in qualifying trim, that Williams are by far the disappointment of the season and that is just sad. They were once a great team, but that feels so long ago now that I fear people are already loosing interest in them and that they are perilously close to sliding down a mountain they will never climb again.

    12. Oh dear. In the back of my mind I see a little horror scene with this little group of teams getting a new member:


      Power wielding, championship cracking teams, doomed to walk amongst the blue flags before fainting into a pile of misery.

      Not again, please?

      1. What Williams need is another tie-up with a car manufacturer. I’m not saying that it’s a surefire route to success – look at Toyota, and Red Bull’s as basically a privateer – but by and large the successful teams of recent years have been affiliated with a manufacturer. I’m thinking of Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, Williams themselves when Renault supplied the engines. When BMW came on board, they returned to winning races after a dry spell, and then BMW went on to drastically improve Sauber’s fortunes.

        A tie-up with a manufacturer, or a major investment from some other kind of partner, is the only thing that’s going to push Williams back to the front of the grid.

        1. Williams-Porsche.


          It’s too much of an idea NOT to happen… they’re already working on Porsche’s GT entries through Williams Hybrid Power.

          1. All depends on VW/Porsche’s position on entering F1, which seems to be constantly changing.

    13. Sooner or later questions will have to be asked about the personnel at Williams. Is Sam Michael really up the task? Also, they really need to get a decent engine. Cosworth is not going to win races anytime soon.

      That BMW deal in 1998 really was the kiss of death for Williams, but this should not put them off another partnership – they just need to get it right, like they did with Renault in 1989.

      I hope they do a deal with Porsche, or Honda, for 2013 and the new engine regs.

      1. Exactly, Sam Michaels techincal leadership has
        to be questioned at some point. We see year after year without improvements.

    14. I may be made to eat my words in the future, and I hope I am, but I can’t see great things from Maldonado anytime soon. It is a shame for Williams, they never really seem to get any better these days. Something wrong internally one suspects.

      1. Too early to tell I think, just look at how Hulkenberg picked up towards the end of last season, or how much Petrov seems to have improved. But it’s not helping Williams’s cause having a driver who needs time to get up to speed.

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