Williams: Split strategy fails to yield points

2011 Japanese GP team review

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Williams’ first day without Sam Michael for ten years did not go well. Pastor Maldonado went off the track then came to a stop during first practice.

He pulled over again in the second session shortly after Rubens Barrichello had thrown his car into the barrier. The Brazilian driver had also lost time with a puncture in the first session.

Their weekend improved from there on but for the 12th time this year they failed to score.

Rubens BarrichelloPastor Maldonado
Qualifying position1314
Qualifying time comparison (Q2)1’33.079 (-0.145)1’33.224
Race position1714
Pit stops33

Williams drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):


Rubens Barrichello111.148103.902103.112103.751102.65102.465102.011102.038102.54103.149102.444104.875120.313101.237101.308102.27102.588101.341101.206101.282101.068101.294101.483121.244142.324108.662148.484102.573101.733100.772100.711101.028100.348101.405100.99100.422102.486117.94299.8799.95899.71299.63799.22399.678101.965100.4999.86499.60399.42599.91599.32799.27299.08
Pastor Maldonado110.956103.731103.297103.393102.643102.808103.606102.826107.652102.929103.503104.423103.917103.996104.114106.078119.439101.079101.142101.501101.263103.353101.641123.016127.692120.304132.368101.678102.19199.992100.725100.967100.6100.307101.719100.055100.639100.465100.584101.061102.712115.95598.31998.64398.80998.38498.09698.11298.33697.64597.981101.02599.951

Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello, Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Suzuka, 2011
Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Soft 22.13s
Pit stop 2Soft 22.736s
Pit stop 3Medium 21.89s

Barrichello was pleased with late changes to his car between final practice and qualifying which allowed him to take 13th on the grid: “The car wasn’t behaving well in practice this morning so we changed almost everything on it before qualifying.

“Everyone did a great job turning it around in time. The changes really transformed the car and we pulled off a strong lap this afternoon.”

The team split strategies with Barrichello starting on softs, Maldonado on primes. Barrichello fell behind his team mate at the start but re-passed him on lap seven, Maldonado offering no resistance.

Barrichello had worked his way up to tenth by lap 24 when the safety car came out, which he felt was “bad timing”.

He fell back to 15th and lost more ground when he switched to medium tyres for his final stint, finishing a distant 17th.

Rubens Barrichello 2011 form guide

Pastor Maldonado

Start tyreMedium
Pit stop 1Medium 21.339s
Pit stop 2Soft 21.075s
Pit stop 3Soft 21.012s

Having lost a lot of track time on Friday Maldonado lined up 14th on the grid.

He dropped back on medium tyres at the start of the race. The team originally planned to two-stop him but switched to a three-stop strategy when the safety car came out.

Maldonado passed Jaime Alguersuari on lap 33, dropped behind the Toro Rosso with his final pit stop, then recovered to pass him again on the final lap to finish 14th.

He said: “Towards the end of the race our pace was quick, I think possibly the quickest it’s been all weekend, but it was too late as we’d already lost out on a better finish in the opening laps.”

Pastor Maldonado 2011 form guide

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

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    Image © Williams/LAT

    Author information

    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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    14 comments on “Williams: Split strategy fails to yield points”

    1. That’s interesting – Pastor Maldonado got the better strategy. I wonder who made that call and why; all the cars that finished the race on primes languished at the end. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I wonder how the strategies would have been divided up if Kimi Raikkonen was racing in Rubens Barrichello’s place …

      1. A little bit of hindsight in that one don’t you think?

        It was a very unlucky race for Rubens, but he had some decent pace.

      2. Rubens was very fast in the beginning. He was unlucky, he’s unlucky for almost whole season…

        1. Indeed, he used to leave his bad luck in Brazil but it seems it got a passport.

    2. Sad that yet again Williams found themselves so far adrift. I really hope things improve next year, but unless they can get some major investment from somewhere I can’t see it happening.

      At this rate they look like they’ll be the first of the established teams to find themselves regularly under threat from an improving Team lotus.

    3. Nice quip at them Keith

      Williams’ first day without Sam Michael for ten years did not go well. Pastor Maldonado went off the track then came to a stop during first practice.

      Really not their year.

      1. @BasCB Assuming this was his first weekend at McLaren it would be quite the opposite there!

        1. :-)

          (Although I think he has only agreed with Williams and McLaren to be able to be with them, not do the work this season) @andrewtanner

          1. @BasCB You just had to ruin my moment, didn’t you?! Remember, I can now remove you as a friend. Let that be a warning! ;D

            1. You wouldn’t dare @andrewtanner !

              It would have been worse if I wrote he had been looking at supporting Hamilton’s weekend, no?

    4. Barrichello was fastest in qualifying as has often been the case, but strangely Maldonado had the upper hand in the race.

    5. Things are simple: In 2010 it was clear that Rubens was Williams’ first driver. He did a great job according to the car’s capabilities. This year is so different. Williams got the cash to support Pastor-e :P To be honest with you I don’t like Raikkonen as a person. It has nothing to do with the late back-chat, I just like Rubens so much, I want to see him drive for one more year & finish his career in style. He deserves that!

      1. Hybrid F1 Curse
        10th October 2011, 19:32

        Wise words indeed..

      2. He did take a bit of a gamble with Williams. However, its easy to say that as he didn’t really have many options. If he stays around, which i’m sure he will, I hope Williams deliver for both him and Maldonado.

    Comments are closed.